Sunday, December 19, 2010

Comments, Clarifications & Updates

No pictures this time, so this should go a lot faster for me, and you.  I just want to first comment and make some clarifications on some of the pictures of Dale's previous post about my trip to SF.  While on my way to UCSF for an 11 am MRI they called to tell me I got bumped due to an emergency (probably some guy with cancer, the nerve), so I now had an extra 2.5 hrs. before my 1st appointment.  It was a beautiful day and SF was supposed to get up to 75 (it actually hit 78!  In mid-Nov?)  So I decided to head to the GG Bridge.  I drove across, then walked half way across it taking many pictures.  It was wonderful to stretch my legs a little after the 4 hr. drive.  It was very impressive to me, and  to the many tourists from around the world moving along with me on the bridge.  Fortunately, it was downhill back to the car or I never would have made it.

The picture of me doing the breathing tests just showed one of an hour of different pulmonary tests that were performed.  The cute young lady (Emily) in the scrubs in the picture was the same respiratory tech that helped me during my cancer treatments.  It was wonderful to see her again.  I recognized her, but she remembered my name, though we hadn't seen each other for more than 10 months.  That is representative of our experience of how all the care givers were and are at UCSF.
The MRI was re-scheduled for the next  morning and, you guessed it, it had to be canceled again.  So, as I sat in my hotel room thinking of what I wanted to do, but having learned that it shouldn't require too much walking again, I decided to ride the cable cars down to Fisherman's Wharf.  The first miracle was finding a parking space just 1 block from the cable car stop.  Again a beautiful warm day.  I sat next to a young couple from Germany who were on their honeymoon.  There were people and families from France, Italy, India, and even the US on the car.  Everyone one else but the German couple were speaking English, which I thought interesting.  The German couple were having a conversation making fun of the other tourists and their poor English and the way the others were obviously tourists, etc, and they weren't speaking in low tones either.  Any German speakers on our side of the cable car could have understood their conversation, so it was obvious that they felt emboldened by the fact that no one could understand them.  When we reached the end of the line,we all got off and began to walk in our different directions.  You know what's coming, don't you?  I said, in my still pretty good German, "Congratulations on your marriage and I hope you have a wonderful time on your honeymoon."  They just froze and stared at me.  I said, putting my pointing finger up to my mouth, "Ich habe nichts gehoert order verstanden."  Meaning, "I didn't hear or understand a thing."   I smiled.  They smiled.  And we all went away chuckling to ourselves.
As lunchtime approached, I thought, "What to do for lunch?"  There's a lot of great little places to eat along the Wharf.  Wait a minute... Why would anyone come all this way, with Ghiradelli Square right there, and not take advantage of it?  I remembered that my doctor had encouraged me to continue to gain some more weight.  It had been 8 months since my stem cell transplant, and I still had only gained 20 lbs. back.  Well, you know me.  I ALWAYS follow the Drs. orders.  So the picture captioned "Lunch", was lunch.  A dark chocolate double hot fudge sundae.  I went right from there to my labs, and I figured that I'd better fess up to the Dr. before he read the lab report.  So when he came into to see me I blurted out, "I just want you to know up front that I had a double hot fudge sundae at Ghiradelli's before coming here.  So if my blood sugar is a little high, you know why."  He didn't even hesitate in his response, "Next time you do that, call me.  I would have had you bring me one.  I had a Coke and potato chips for lunch."  And best of all, my blood sugar was not high at all.  And we lived happily ever after.  Except I never did get the MRI!
After all of my tests and visits I was able to get together with my only UCSF roommate, Dennis Lozano.  You may recall in previous posts that he was sent home (to Alaska) to die because he wasn't well enough to have a stem cell transplant.  Well, as it is obvious in the pictures, he didn't die.  He came back to UCSF and they couldn't figure out why he was still alive.  You may also recall that after many conversations about religion and church, and watching/hearing me get priesthood blessings, he asked me to give him a blessing, which I did.  He let me know right away that he was attending church every week since returning home.  Dr. Wolf has a buddy at the Mayo clinic, so they went there.  They couldn't figure out why he's still alive either.  So he's now in a study at Stanford, which made it possible for us to get together for a wonderful 3 hour visit and dinner with Marie's sister Joan, brother-in-law Dan, and sister Barbara.  Home by 11:30 that night.
Oh yea.  The picture of the nurse (Sarah) with the tray of stuff was not for labs.  That was a tray of needles containing my childhood and other immunizations.  I forget exactly how many there were.  I think 8.  They all went into my right and left arms and shoulders.  The next morning in the shower I remember pulling a stack of little round bandaids off of my arms and shoulders.  I should have counted them.  They warned me that they could make me have flu like symptoms.  One of the great lies, and she said it so convincingly.  A few days later I began to feel ill.  Then it went to very ill.  For 2.5 weeks!  Of course it was during the Thanksgiving festivities that you saw pictures of.  I recovered just in time to catch a cold that went immediately into bronchitis.  That was just after all of our company left after Thanksgiving.
There you go.  Next I'll try and get to the updates about my visit to UCSF just a week ago.  Thanks for all of your continued love and support.  Kevin

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