Sunday, April 1, 2007

April 1st - 6th: April Fools

SUNDAY, APRIL 01, 2007 08:47 PM, PDT

Parent’s Note: Day +25

Keith leapt out of bed this morning, kissed his mom, did a dozen push-ups, read several chapters of his US history school textbook, wrote several thank you notes, and solved Rubic’s Cube eight times all before breakfast. Later he worked on his dissertation about the evolutionary patterns of cephalopods but ran into a research snag because the doctors will not let him do any underwater fieldwork until he has his Broviac removed.

April Fools…..

Ok, well he might have kissed his mom.

Seriously, he felt great today. By far, this is the best day of his recovery so far and except for still not eating much he really looks and acts like the Keith of old. It was such a treat to see him feeling so good – expressive and smiling. Jack, Scott and Josie were with him most of the day, leaving for Orinda late in the afternoon after taking Keith on another rooftop stroll decked out in his red robe, ski hat, sunglasses and pink mask. Apparently after the last chemo he needs to be very careful with sun exposure.

It was quite a sight to behold on a warm spring-like day…, birds, blue sky and an alien in a red robe.

MONDAY, APRIL 02, 2007 09:08 PM, PDT

Parent’s Note: Day +26


Keith enjoyed another day, feeling ever better all the time. He even was able to sip down a half of a bottle of lemon soda and later enjoyed some soup. It’s also spring break for Scott (I guess for Keith too….) so Keith had the undivided attention of his brother all day long.

Hard to beat that.

TUESDAY, APRIL 03, 2007 09:20 PM, PDT

Parent’s Note: Day +27

Today was more of the same, except more. That’s a good thing – a really good thing.

Keith’s ANC is in the 4000 range – great. He was drinking and eating even more today – super. Beginning yesterday he hasn’t been sick to his stomach at all after over three weeks of constant nausea – outstanding. He was disconnected from his IV pole for six hours today and in recognition of that he got himself up to the roof garden and looped around it (at a quick pace apparently) six full times – about a quarter of a mile under his own power – stupendous.

Today’s photo is taken from the roof garden and for anyone who might be curious, I’ve added another photo to the ‘gallery’ taken from Google Earth showing the roof garden from above so you can get a sense of Keith’s wanderings today. The sinuous path winds fully around the central courtyard below. Ok, it's a bit hard to see at first, but if you study it closely I think you will figure it out.

Yes indeed, things are looking up.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 04, 2007 09:40 PM, PDT

Parent’s Note: Day +28

Four weeks post transplant and everything continues to be progressing well. In the same way a robin’s appearance signals springtime, computer and video gaming signals Keith is on the mend and feeling well. Sure ‘nuf, electronics were central to Keith’s (and Scott’s) entertainment strategy for the day.

The construction crew must have received a talking to from the administration to hurry up and finish the renovation immediately below the BMT unit where Keith resides. Whatever it is that they are building apparently needs to be firmly secured directly to the underside of the floor of Keith’s room. The sound of roto-hammer drills and banging was relentless today and while I am making light of it here, it did actually contribute to Keith feeling sick to his stomach at one point. Hopefully they will let up a little tomorrow.

Not much else to report other than the doctors have huddled together and hatched a plan for Keith’s escape. The carefully vague yet pleasingly specific phrase of ‘sometime early next week’ was uttered, signaling that freedom is imminent and soon Keith’s universe will expand exponentially beyond the walls of room 2314.

THURSDAY, APRIL 05, 2007 10:13 PM, PDT

Parent’s Note: Day +29

Marching along toward discharge and Keith continues to feel well. Now that the anxiety phase of the BMT procedure has passed we seem to be in this funny transition period, just itching to move on and move out, but required to stay in the confines of the room at least for a few more days. Frankly, as parents it’s pretty boring but Keith seems perfectly happy hanging with Scott all day. So we remind ourselves that if he’s happy then we’re happy too.

FRIDAY, APRIL 06, 2007 10:57 PM, PDT

Parent’s Note: Day +30

Keith is the BMT unit’s “star” patient. At least that’s what Keith’s head transplant nurse declared today. Now, of course I’ve always thought of Keith as a star kid in general and I suppose that if one has to be a patient of any kind it’s nice to be considered a star patient as well. What I think she meant was that Keith was doing so well that there just wasn’t much for them to do anymore except to stop in once in a while and perform the routine maintenance checks and maybe take a crack at the Nerf slingshot.

Keith continues to feel well and is drinking much more now that his IV fluids have been reduced considerably. He is due for some more platelets over night and received another dose of GCSF earlier today. It sounds like this is a normal pattern, especially with their neuroblastoma patients.

Should be a very quiet weekend here – not much excitement in store as measured by the traditional definitions of excitement. What does excite us though is the thought of Keith returning to familiar surroundings, re-uniting with his friends and trying to restore some semblance of normalcy in his life again…..

and we seem to be getting closer and closer to that treasured scenario every day.

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