Category Archives: Admission to MSKCC

Eliyahu HaNavi visited 3 times on Pesach???

Well, as you may know, Eliyahu HaNavi, Elijah the Prophet, visits once at each Passover seder and since those of us who live outside of the land of Israel conduct two seders at the beginning of Passover, we would expect two visits on Passover from Elijah. However, Debbi and I were fortunate to have had a third visit from Eliyahu.

As I wrote previously, we were in room 511A and we had the suite to ourselves. This past Thursday morning, another patient was admitted to 511B. Sad to report, the roommate was really in a difficult way. After listening sympathetically for the entire day, at bedtime, Debbi was having a tough time blocking out the crying, even with high strength earplugs, so that she could get some much needed rest.

We asked our nurse if there was any way that we could move to a different room so that Debbi’s healing could continue. The floor supervisor shortly decided that it would be best to move the roommate to a private room where all her needs could be handled more efficiently. Even though the roommate was transferred, somehow Debbi was left with fears related to her own destiny and whether it would be similar to the roommates.

At approximately midnight, out of nowhere, Eliyahu showed up in 511A. I am sure that by now, any reader of the blog can guess that Eliyahu was disguised as Dr. Michael Zelefsky. He quickly reassured Debbi of the treatment plan reminding her that Dr. Russo, the oncological kidney surgeon was standing by, monitoring Debbi’s progress, and waiting to take the kidney at the appropriate time. Patiently listening to Debbi’s fears, Michael was able to quickly calm Debbi and re-instill a vision of hope that included one day looking back and having this whole incident be nothing more than a bad memory.

May G-d grant Michael and his family health, happiness, and all good things for many, many years to come.

Room 511A

Well, we have been here for almost 24 hours and Debbi is certainly looking much better. While looks are important, the blood counts and Debbi’s temperature are the driving factors that will enable us to go back to our side of Manhattan. 

Yesterday (Wednesday 4/23) at 8am, bloods were drawn and they showed marked improvement. One note, Debbi has received additional antibiotics and we are expecting the Thursday 8AM blood tests to be even better but because my hospital/work schedule is a bit irregular now, I have not had a chance to update the data until now. 

We are watching the following items:

Item 4/03 4/10 4/17 4/22 4/23 Normal Range
Potassium 4.0 4.5 3.9 3.4* 3.9 3.5 – 5.1 mEq/L
Red Blood Count 4.5 4.1 4.1 3.9* 3.5* 4.0 – 5.2 M/mcL
Hemoglobin 12.4 11.6 11.4* 11.1* 9.9* 11.5 – 16.0 g/dl
White Blood Count 6.7 7.5 5.9 2.0* 3.9* 4.0 – 11.0 K/mcL
Abs. Neutrophil Count 4.7 5.3 4.2 1.2* 3.5 1.5 – 8.8 K/mcL
* lower value than the Normal Range
4/03 was our first visit to Dr. Bajorin
4/10 immediately prior to the first chemo treatment
4/17 immediately prior to the second chemo treatment
4/22 blood test administered in Sloan Kettering Urgent Care
4/23 9AM blood test

 
At 2AM Thursday, Debbi is sleeping. Tulsi, our nurse just came in to change the antibiotic. I asked her about the data showing that the Red Blood Count and the Hemoglobin counts have gone down while the White Blood Count and the Absolute Neutrophil Counts have risen as we had hoped. Tulsi explained that all the IV drips can have a diluting effect on the blood and that our main concern should still be Debbi’s ability to fight infection. So, we look to the White Blood Count and focus on the ANC and have cause for some relief as we look forward to the results of today (Thursday’s) 8am blood test.  

The Doctor’s and Hospital staff may have their method of gauging her condition but after spending 37 great years with Debbi, I have my own. Lets call it the Noodge Index, her capability to noodge others. For sure when we came to Urgent care on Tuesday, Debbi was weak and had trouble holding her head upright let alone be a noodge. Tonight she must be feeling better because she spent a full 2 minutes “instructing” me how to position the foldout sleeping chair. You know, like Feng Shui!!! Anyway, if she has the strength to be bothering me about such matters, she must be feeling better so lets combine the Noodge Index with the above data to get a more accurate picture of her overall well-being:                  

Item 4/03 4/10 4/17 4/22 4/23 Normal Range
Potassium 4.0 4.5 3.9 3.4* 3.9 3.5 – 5.1 mEq/L
Red Blood Count 4.5 4.1 4.1 3.9* 3.5* 4.0 – 5.2 M/mcL
Hemoglobin 12.4 11.6 11.4* 11.1* 9.9* 11.5 – 16.0 g/dl
White Blood Count 6.7 7.5 5.9 2.0* 3.9* 4.0 – 11.0 K/mcL
Abs. Neutrophil Count 4.7 5.3 4.2 1.2* 3.5 1.5 – 8.8 K/mcL
Noodge Index 5.0 4.2 3.7 1.5* 3.4 3.3 – 6.6 Lbs.

 Much better… and by the way, I like being noodged, as long as it stays in the Normal Range!!