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Greetings from our second home! Actually, in truth, this does feel a little bit different because we haven’t been ‘inpatient’ in MSKCC for years!
Yesterday morning we were discharged from Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa and last night we went to bed on the 9th floor of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. It was a long day of travel, but thankfully everything went smoothly. In fact, I would say it went better than smoothly. It started with TSA not questioning our bag full of medical samples, slides, and materials. We were well prepared with official letters from Dr. Rokes, but didn’t need them at all.
Then on the flight from Minneapolis to Newark, we sat with a guy who lives in San Francisco that was coming home to NY for a friend’s wedding. Eli was wearing a mask on the flights obviously as he has no counts, so that fired up some conversation. After we deplaned, Mike said, “You know, my parents are picking me up and I’d hate for you guys to have to get on a bus, can we give you a ride to the hospital?” So rather than buying a bus ticket, exposing Eli to even more random people in a cramped space, then paying a taxi to take us to MSKCC, we jumped into Mike’s parents’ car and were shuttled directly to the front door of MSKCC. I can’t really explain it, but there is almost nothing that entertains me more than listening to a true New York family conversing. It’s a completely different style of communication than we are used to in the Midwest. Very fast paced, very multi faceted, very opinionated and a huge emphasis put on the details of the stories being told. I could listen for hours. It was so amazing to not have to worry about transfers and tickets. I’m very thankful that God put Mike in the seat next to us today on that flight!
So we hauled our luggage to Urgent Care to be admitted and then transferred to the 9th floor. Of course we spent the entire time watching our Iowa State Cyclones on ESPN against Oklahoma State. I’m pretty sure I don’t have to tell you how excited we were to see yet another huge upset by our Cyclones. We literally made the Doctors and Nurses wait at certain points so we could see the play before we answered their question. It was an amazing win and we are so happy for all of our friends in Ames. I can’t believe I would have been at Jack Trice Stadium last night if we wouldn’t have been sent off to NYC yesterday, but we do have our priorities. 🙂
Poor Eli wasn’t really hungry until all of the options were exhausted. They wouldn’t let us order outside food (like Chinese) because he is neutropenic, so the nurse offered him a microwaveable macaroni and cheese dinner. Later I found out that it was her personal meal that she had brought from home! It didn’t go to waste, he ate every single noodle.
We don’t really have anything planned for this weekend, so we will just be hanging out and watching counts. MSKCC will repeat bone marrow tests on Monday and then Eli will start chemo. We don’t know the exact concoction that it will be as we haven’t had any discussions with the leukemia doctor yet, but it will likely be something more toxic than what we tried 4 weeks ago. Then the idea is to go right into transplant after that.
For those in NYC interested in visiting us and keeping us company this weekend, we are in Room 931A (we were in this exact room years ago) and would love to see you! Thanks to everyone for all of the prayers. We appreciate them so much. The Facebook messages on Eli’s page have been awesome as well.