Jeff is home! It has now been exactly three weeks since he was admitted into the UCSF ER, so this already feels like quite the odyssey. Yet, treatment has only just begun. And weirdly, the "routine" of hospital visits was just starting to feel slightly "normal." Stella even asked at bedtime tonight - after Jeff had just been in her room - if we were going to "call Papa on the phone." So, needless to say, it seems we will be adjusting and re-adjusting to our family's new "schedule" throughout this journey.
But, I digress. Hallelujah Jeff has conquered Round One of chemo - with much bravery and impressive vigor! If everything goes well, he'll be home for about two weeks before he starts Round Two.
As expected with anything at a hospital, not everything went smoothly for Jeff's discharge. Many UCSF employees are currently on strike, which complicated procedures. [More on that strike when I've had time to compose my thoughts and possibly calm my rage on the matter. However, I'll post some links below for those who may need to satisfy their curiosity now.]
On the less complicated end, the Hospitalist doctor had to act as Pharmacist for Jeff's outpatient meds. Also, patients had no choice in their food. This resulted in Jeff getting something called "wheat triangles" for part of his breakfast. They had to call them "wheat triangles" because they were certainly not toast. Jeff described them as warmed, slightly soggy triangular pieces of bread. Thus, not misleading, but also definitely not delicious.
On the more complicated side, however, was Jeff's lumbar puncture for the administration of the final chemo drug of this regimen. They tried to do the lumbar puncture yesterday. It did not work. Apparently this occurred because of the nuances of Jeff's (majestic, but somewhat compressed) spine and his unusually slow flow of spinal fluid. Ordinarily, after a failed lumbar puncture they would typically attempt the procedure under CT guidance, but no non-emergency cases are being permitted for CTs during the strike.
Jeff toughed out a second "spinal therapy" today and and got the chemo he needed to close out Round One. I was hugely proud of him for this. [On a side note, this made me glad (again) to have avoided epidurals during Stella and Lydia's labor and delivery. I also feel like I have now experienced a taste of what it might be like to be supporting someone during their labor/delivery. I was so glad to be there for Jeff - but also felt quite inept and disoriented.]
I'll close with a silly picture of Jeff and my mom leaving the hospital. I packed his t-shirt and brought it home early. Too early. Hence, the hospital gown.
PS: Here are the links:
From UCSF: http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2013/05/106141/strike-impacts-medical-services-ucsf and http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2013/05/106096/court-issues-injunction-limiting-strike-uc-medical-centers
From the Union: http://www.afscme3299.org/
From the media (I didn't search exhaustively, but these are top hits): http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-ucsf-strike-20130521,0,5894812.story and http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/UCSF-Medical-Center-workers-strike-4536366.php