Monday, September 10, 2007

Yesterday: second dose of Melphalan. Today: cells returned

I failed to update yesterday because by the time I got home from Duarte it was 9:20pm and I was tired.

I visited Richie yesterday, and while the Melphalan was no picnic, he seemed to be in good spirits and well enough to take a little stroll through the wing of the hospital. Yes, he is allowed to get out of his room and walk around, and this is because of the unique design of Helford Clinical Research Hospital.

Normally sterile rooms are kept sterile one room at a time. The sterile room is approached from a two-door vestibule which serves as an "airlock." The patient is confined to that one room for all of their treatment. When Helford was constructed, it was designed from the ground up to have two floors with two sterile wings each. Each wing is entered from a double-door vestibule. The air beyond the second door is filtered, and anti-microbial surfaces are used wherever possible.

While in the patient room, the visitor needs to "wash up, glove up, and mask up" in order to provide an added measure of safety while the patient's immune system rebuilds. While outside the room, but within the sterile wing, the patient "gloves up and masks up" to protect themselves. Visitors and nurses do not need to wear gloves and masks outside the room.

Richie is getting the stem cells today. Hopefully all is going well. I called him this morning and he was still waking up. Neither of us are good in the morning, and I'm sure the chemo doesn't help. I will update when I find out how he's doing.