visits & gifts

5/17/2015: Home again! For good, this time!

5/12/2015: I’m starting my last chemo cycle tonight! I’ll be in room 1474 (on the 14th floor) through Sunday afternoon.

4/19/2015: Home again! Only one more cycle to go…

4/14/2015: Since I had a slight cough and sore throat upon admission, I got my own room again at UCSF. I’ll be in room 1125 until Sunday afternoon. (Two more 4s!)

3/19/2015: I came back home yesterday afternoon. Freedom for about three weeks!

3/13/2015: Back in the saddle again… for my third round of chemo, finally! I’m in room 1135 until Wednesday 3/18, if all goes as planned.

3/2/2015: I’ve been out of the hospital since February 16, and am scheduled to go back next Tuesday or Wednesday for about six days.

2/11/2015: I’m back in the hospital, in room 1131. If this second round of chemo goes as planned, I should be out of here and back home in about a week!

1/27/2015: I’m home for now! I’m trying to keep active and spend as much time outdoors as I can, so if you’d like to take a walk with me, ping me on my mobile (I’m not putting my number here to avoid spam, so if you don’t have it, message me and I’ll send it to you). Because I have three more rounds of chemo coming up, I still need to avoid large crowds and sick people, but I’m okay to drive myself so can meet up anywhere within a half hour drive of Ocean Beach.

1/3/2015: My temporary home is UCSF at 505 Parnassus, SF, CA 94143, on the 11th floor (11 Long), in room 1168. Because I’m neutropenic (very low white blood cell count, which will get lower over the next few weeks), it’s best that I don’t receive many visitors while I’m here. For our local friends and family, I’d love a raincheck for after I get out in February. For our loved ones from out of state, the best hours for visits are 11am – 7pm, though in case I’m in the middle of a procedure, please text me before you come: 650.722.2539. Because this is the blood cancer and bone marrow transplant unit, we all have extremely low or no immunity, so visitors must be 100% healthy. If you have the slightest tickle in your throat or a tiny bit of congestion, or even the mere suspicion of an oncoming cold, for our sake don’t risk it!

There are also strict rules for gifts: no fresh fruits or flowers (potential mold/fungus infection), and no home cooked or restaurant cooked foods (although frozen dinners and prepackaged foods are allowed, go figure!).

The best gift you could give would be to make a blood donation. Not for me specifically, but for anyone who needs blood. Leukemia makes me anemic, so I can’t understate how much better I’ve felt each time I’ve gotten a transfusion. My heart rate slows from an alarming 100+ bpm midway towards my regular 75, I can breathe normally rather than constantly feeling like I’m low on air, and my energy level zooms back. And for people who have suffered traumas, receiving blood could be lifesaving.

Here’s where to start if you are a blood donation newbie: or