Sunday, July 31, 2011

Every Visit An Adventure

This wonderful young lady is Cheryl.  She is the clinic coordinator.  She is the one who keeps the clinic running smoothly from 8 to 6.  She loves me and gives me special treatment.  I learned the secret of being treated like a king.  I bring them goodies every time I come.  This time was fresh baked tollhouse chocolate chip cookies.  Brownies.  Pumpkin pies.  Assorted Christmas cookies.  Almond cookies from China Town.  It's like Martha Stewart always says, Never go to an oncology/ hematology clinic empty handed.  I never wait long for vitals or for labs.  I rarely wait for the Doc.  I always get the room with the recliner.  I'm not the only one who thinks food is good.  All of the nurses and front desk staff do everything possible to make my stay a lovely experience.
These are the 7 vials of blood that they take through my port ev4ry time I come to do all of my blood work.  The report covers 48 different tests.  The good news, I'm still cancer free nearly 16 months after my stem cell transplant.  The bad news, I will be taking the daily chemo pills for another 10 months, "at least", instead of 4 months, and my neuropothy is getting worse due to the buildup of the chemo in my system.  I have very poor feeling in my fingers, hands and feet.  My chemo brain, which was compromised long before this as everyone knows, has gotten worse.  I still drool really well though.  My metabolism has caught up with me too. After months of not retaining much food, I now have to loose about 10 pounds!  Oh my. Whoda thunk it. Then, after, I was supposed to visit with one of my early UCSF experience doctors who is now working on a cure for my cancer, but he had to go to the other UCSF hospital at Mission Bay for a research meeting.  So I had a few 2 1/2 hours to kill.  From my hospital room I would look at Golden Gate Park. Tour #1. The west end. Quickly
The fantastic Conservatory of Flowers.  The grounds around it are almost as impressive as the inside displays.

This very impressive monument on the left was honoring Francis Scott Key, who wrote the Star Spangled Banner. In the background is the de Young Museum of Art. They were having a Picasso showing.  I didn't have that much time. but I made it up to the 9th level and observation deck. For some pictures.
View from the de Young Museum at the California Academy of Sciences.  To the left the Francis Scott Key memorial.  At the top middle of the picture is my alma matter, UCSF Medical Center, Long and Moffett Hospitals. My rooms were on the 11th and 14th floors, with a view of the park and the Golden Gate Bridge.  I REALLY  like this view better.
This is the view from the de Young to the north-east.  You see the town and buildings of San Francisco, with the hills in the distant background being on the far side of  the bay.  If you've never been around San Francisco, take a very small and narrow car with good brakes.  I have found no level spot in the whole town.
I will now regale you with photos of the Japenese Garden, which I found very interesting, and in fact, relaxing.
This is the "Peace Lantern".  I didn't realize that the US and Japan didn't sign a peace treaty until 1951.  This 9,000 lb. solid brass peace lantern was presented to the people of the United States by the Consul General for Japan in San Francisco on January 9, 1953.  It was from the 'children of Japan. In hope of peace.'
Everywhere you look were wonderful rock landscapes, bonsai gardens, streams & waterfalls.  Picturesque. I won't bore you with any more pictures, but I spent quite a bit of time walking around here. Feng Shuy
.Stow Lake is a favorite of the locals.  They have paddle boats and row boats available to rent.  People bring their own kayaks and canoes.  It's pretty big.  The gazebo-ee thing on the left is a Chinese building.  The waterfall is a big draw for the tourists, as you can hike to the top of it. If you love green water, this is for you.
As I needed to be heading back I saw the Shakespeare Garden on the map and thought to myself, 'To go, or not to go. That is the question."  But because I have chemo brain, I forgot the question and just walked to it.
A quiet little park within the park.  Several students just lying on the ground studying.  Other people just sitting and thinking.  No computers, ipods, cell phones etc. were observed, or heard, here. This park is a cool place.

Then back for a quick visit with Dr. Burch's office to present a report from my physical therapist, and a chat about my lack of progress with the injections in my back in preparation for the anticipated oblation, and an authorization to play tennis IF I didn't do something stupid (moi?) and hurt myself.  I assured him that I hadn't with the bicycle riding and the golf so he said go ahead and try it.  Report in the near future. 

Then the highlight of the trip.  A friend from Paso, John Adams, "knows a guy who knows a guy that can get us tickets to the Giants games.  The next day was my physical therapist's birthday, but she had to work all day, so I was able to get us some tickets to the Giants - Dodger game that night.  She's a big Dodgers fan.  I am a big fan of goofing off.  So it was a fit.  She and my daughter Candice, who is her aide and is now a certified trainer (health fitness specialist), got off work in Paso at 2pm and headed north.
Dr. Jennifer Seay (pronounced 'see') is in the Dodger cap.  Neither of the two guys are my daughter Candice. As usual, I have my mouth open, just this time I hadn't put my foot in it. Yet.  Wait a minute.  Who's the big goofy looking guy with the Provo T-shirt on?  Yep, it's my youngest brother, Brian, who just happened to be in SF for work conference and was flying home the next morning.  We all converged and had a great time.

Aren't them guys about the brightest lookin' guys you've ever seen?  The Dodger fans weren't very bright either.  Their 'Go Dodgers' sign was upside down. Dodgers lost 5 to 3.  Got home at 1:35 am.  So there you have it.  The update that both of you have been waiting for.  Thank you for your love and prayers. I still pray at least once a day for all of you too. 


  1. Thanks Kevin, great photos, interesting commentary. Beautiful Japanese garden. So. How long will the "chemo brain" thing work for you?... I'm just sayin'....