Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Day +12 – Discharge Day

Saturday July 28, 2012
Quail Run Lot 15
Moffitt Cancer Center Lot 15
Marriott Residence Inn


This morning I was up early again  with a lot of things to do in order to make today come off with as little effort on David’s part as possible.  I had washed his clothing last night late when I got home so that was done.  I had to pack up my clothes and anything else we needed or wanted to take to move in to the half way hotel room for about a week.

I wanted to get to the hospital early so I could attend the last rounds and be able to get checked in to the hotel, drop off all my things, go to the grocery, take that food back to the Marriott, drive back to Winnona and take the important foods out of our refrig and freezer (read that as J-M-C ice cream and other “stuff”) and put them in the refrigerator at the Marriott.  All before David was discharged so that he wouldn’t have to go on any of these errands given how tired he has been.

After discharge he has to have a trained caregiver with him 24/7 so if I have to go to the grocery or anywhere, he has to come too.  He can’t sit in the car and he really shouldn’t go into the store with so many people.  He has to wear a mask whenever he is outside his room and gloves if he goes into any place where he might have to touch carts or other things touched by anyone else.   The list of rules is mind boggling.

I get to his room and check his numbers.  Some ups, some downs.  Looks like he’ll probably get a transfusion tomorrow because of his hemoglobin numbers.   Below 10 and they transfuse.   Platelets have dropped for a second day but by less.   White counts are up a lot.

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When I come in, he is again sitting on the sofa in the sunshine.  He’s had his breakfast and is on a saline drip.  I have remembered today to bring his NEW hat purchased specifically for his new doo.  He likes the hat.


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He also received two more cards today. 
Thanks to Loree and Roger and Carol.

I walk my lunch down to the “family lounge” where I have never spent any time except to put my lunch/dinner in the refrigerator and then return to heat it up before eating it.
Then I go down to the pharmacy to pick up the six prescriptions he’s leaving Moffitt with.  He has several other medications he has been taking already at home so we will have to bring those to the Marriott as well.  According to the list the pharmacist gave us yesterday, he will be taking 10 different medications daily.


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He seems to be feeling much better today but then I hear him breathing heavily and ask if he’s OK.  He gets up and moves out of the sun to his recliner dragging the machine behind him.   After a few minutes, up comes part of his breakfast.  This is the second time vomiting has followed his getting too hot.  He lays back to rest but now he has severe abdominal cramping.


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He goes through a period of these cramps about one per minute lasting up to 15 seconds each (even as badly as he feels, he wants to me to record the times.  I find this just AMAZING).  His nurse Mina and PA Mark Honor think it may be mild constipation for which they can give him pain medication but they suggest that if he can, he drink more water and go for a walk.

I won’t detail the next hour or so but ultimately everything comes out OK.  :-))    We do go for a short walk and when he returns Sarah brings him a chocolate peanut butter milkshake (650 calories) which his nurse Mina suggests will help move his system along.   He’s very pleased with this idea since Sarah makes great shakes.

David’s favorite technician and milk shake maker Sarah brings him a shakeDay  11 011 

It’s about noon now and his rounds team still hasn’t come.  I would really like to be there when they do but I can’t wait any longer since I have so many errands and trips to make to and from the hotel.  I need to be back here at about 2:45 so he can check out.

I race around and get it all done as well as filling up Ruby with gas and am back at Moffitt at exactly at 2:45.  I feel like I’ve done enough driving for a week.  Remember I’m the person who doesn’t like to drive or even ride.   The guy who likes to drive can’t drive until the doctor gives him the OK which will probably be at least a month.  I sure hope it isn’t more than that.  I’m not smiling about this or the 24/7 requirement.  But you do what you’ve got do.

Although they’ve changed his nurses and technicians far more often than it seems necessary to me, he has two of his favorites, Mina and Sarah, on his last day.   He says good by to them both but I only get a picture of David and Mina because by the time we see Sarah as we are leaving, I have my hands full of bags and cart.


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At 3:45 he walks out of the inpatient West Wing of the Moffitt Cancer Center we hope forever.   We drive about 4 miles down the road to the Marriott Residence Inn.   Here he is going into the outside door nearest his room wearing the mask he has to wear anytime he’s outside of the room.

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Down the hall leading to his room.

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He’s getting quite accustomed to this patient stuff and goes in and lays down on the sofa and turns on Olympic Women’s Volleyball.

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I put most of the stuff I’ve lugged over here away but leave his clothing and toiletries to him so they will be where he wants.  I also have to wipe down all the surfaces he’ll be in contact with using antiseptic wipes.  Table tops, faucet and door handles, telephones, remotes, lights, and light switches to mention a few.

Here are some pictures of Room 118.  It’s a one bedroom one bath suite with full kitchen.


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Do I look as tired as I feel here enjoying my Almond Joy treat??


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I have been too busy to eat my  lunch so around 4:30 I warm it up and call it lunc-inner.  David turns off the TV, gets up from the sofa and puts his things away after the US Women beat Korea in volleyball.  I make his dinner which he eats carefully and with no ill effects.  He takes a nap directly after.


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It is now 7:00 and he has not done his spirometer, his PT exercises or the last of his 3 daily walks.  I’m too tired to hound him.  He is going to have to start taking some responsibility for doing these things.   I am as you have seen, very sensitive to his situation, but I really don’t think that I have to do everything.  When he’s feeling pretty good, he needs to take responsibility for them himself like he does his meds about which he is very good.

Tomorrow is his first outpatient appointment and at the rate he’s going doing the walking and drinking the water, he’ll be on a saline drip for several hours.   That’s one VERY nice thing about being at the Residence Inn, I won’t have to sit in the waiting room, while he is in their care, I can drive 4 miles down the road back to the hotel and do whatever I want. Whoopee!!  When we are back in Winnona, I’ll be stuck in the waiting room.  One Point for the Hotel!

So he naps and I type this blog.  When I finish, I’m going to have a GIANT bowl of Jamaica-me-crazy ice cream, prop my feet up and see what happens.


  1. Sherry and David,

    You both are such troopers! My hat, gloves and socks (you DO really want me to stop there - giggle) are off to you both. I know it was a crazy, hectic and extremely taxing day for you both, but it sounds as if it went fairly smoothly and for that I am glad. I hope you both can get some hours of restorative sleep tonight. This is progress! Yahhoooweee! Gentle hugs . . .

  2. Glad to see you settled in you room. Looks like a nice place. Hope you both enjoy the 24/7 togetherness! Hehe! I'm still sitting in the hospital room watching Ken sleep! Enjoy and here's hoping David is on the road to recovery and home!

    1. Karen, I'm so sorry Ken hasn't been released yet. I hope he's at least showing improvement. Still want to see you guys and now it looks like we won't be leaving anytime soon.

  3. Don't know what's in that ice cream, but chocolate sauce couldn't hurt! :)

    Glad David is out of the hospital. Do they have a hot tub at the hotel? Maybe you'd enjoy it. Relax a little.

  4. So glad that David was able to be discharged. Maybe he will get more rest in the hotel room without so many people poking and prodding him. You should nap when you get a chance too! Nice big bowl of JMC and a nap sounds great :)

  5. David looks so good! Now that he is out of the hospital, maybe he'll be able to get some real rest without people interrupting his sleep, of course, depending on how quietly you can eat those Almond Joys and big bowls of J-A-C ice cream. ;c)

    Sherry, you've have done a fantastic job looking after (and out for) David while he was in the hospital, you are right to encourage him to take some responsibility to do his "chores". I'm sure he will do more now that he is on the real road to recovery.

    And with all the details you accomplished in such a short time, you should be starring in Energizer Battery commercials, you make that bunny look like he's going backwards!

  6. So glad to hear that David was discharged to your good care. The suite looks so cheery and classy; it has to feel better than a hospital room.

    Best wishes...one day at a time, and one night at a time.

  7. Nice digs! Now hopefully you can both get some good rest.

  8. This looks like a lovely place to recuperate. You look very tired Sherry. Tomorrow, when David is getting his saline drip, you should be sleeping. Take care of yourself so you can take care of David.

  9. Sherry, do what I just did when we had a hotel room for two nights....long HOT, non-military showers with great water flow...just stand there and let it pour over you. It feels SO good :-). (living in an RV almost makes one forget how wonderful a real shower is!)

  10. The two of you made it over the hospital hurdle. Now for the R & R. Sherry my mouth is watering as I watched you eating that almond joy! Glad to see you are giving in to the little treats. Keep up the good work.... you are both doing great!

  11. Sherry, I'm so glad to hear that because of your efficiency and planning, the move went well. I think you'll both be more comfortable at the hotel. David still has a beautiful smile, and you fat? Hardly! Not the way you move around. I'm sure when David is feeling better, he'll take on the responsibility to do what he is supposed to do. I suspect he's been better, in that respect, than most patients. We've been waiting for this day, and I hope David improves each day ahead. I think you need a rest, as well, and the hotel is certainly more comfortable and conducive to relaxing. I'm so glad, as you are, that you don't have a long drive and while David getting his drip, you can steal away and get some mental and physical R&R. Is there a workout room at the hotel? Without running, I'm sure you'll want to get some sort of exercise. If not, is there a gym nearby? Again, very happy for you and David. This is a really big milestone.

  12. That's a very pleasant-looking suite. I hope you both can rest a little more now. REST! And eat Almond Joys.

  13. Wow you must be exhausted. I give you so much credit for doing what you have to do and still stay upbeat. I really hope that Dave continues to do well without any setbacks. We are thinking of you both. Take some time to give yourself a break.

    Kevin and Ruth

  14. Glad you got all checked in OK. Maybe you can both get a little more rest in the next few days.

  15. Celebration!!! David has sprung the "joint". I am hoping for BOTH of you that having a different environment (other than the hospital) makes you feel like progress is happening. Your new suite looks spacious - perhaps Sherry you can take a nice, long, hot bath... and eat some more ice cream and Almond Joys to celebrate today. I too love David's smile... standing there with Mina and also enjoying his cards. While today was exciting.. it was also exhausting. I assume David loved breathing the FRESH air outside (albeit through a mask..) Maybe he can take little walks outside now. Today seems like a big step forward... we are just so happy to know it all came about and will continue to hope and pray that all germs are kept away and healing ramps up!

  16. What a nice little room....and again probably more space than Winona, huh?

    How nice you'll have a reprieve when he goes back for his daily check-up. It surprises me that he has to wear a mask outside, but when he was at his lowest white blood count wise, that no one in the hospital wore a mask or made him wear one. Seems odd to me. I guess the hospital staff is germ free!

    David looks much better than he did a few days ago. I agree with Judy, check out the hotel and see if they have a hot tub. I'm sure a few laps in the pool would make you feel better as well.

    Since we're staying awhile, we'll be glad to help you however you need. Staying with David, running to the grocery store, whatever you need. And now we know what to buy at the store! We'll actually be up your way today, so if you need anything, let us know.

  17. Nice hat and nice room! I am glad he is out of the hospital and looking pretty good, although obviously pain and fatigue are still plaguing him. I do hope he will motivate to exercise etc. so as to heal as quickly as possible so life can return to normal as quickly as possible. I hope you are able to relax some these next few days during the time he is in the hospital - just like Hazel said - one day at a time. You look great with that Almond Joy! I wouldn't feel guilty about either treat (J-M-C or AJ) :)

  18. Love the hat! Yes you do look tired, so be sure to give yourself some "me" time whenever David is at the hospital. It's gotta feel good getting to this point. Keep on truckin!

  19. What an exhausting schedule you have, where do you ever find the time to write this blog keeping us all informed of David's progress. What a remarkable diary this is going to be when you and David look back at your posts in a few years. Here's hoping when you do look back and read all this, you'll be sitting in loungers on a beach somewhere, looking out at a bright blue ocean scene - maybe even a couple of little umbrella drinks in your hands.

  20. What a busy day, and that's after all the busy days you've had before.

    Hopefully things will be more under both of your control now that you're under 'your own' roof, so to speak.

    It's nice to see David's smiles in the pictures again! And Sherry, you look tired but quite happy with your Almond Joy :D

  21. Glad all went well, and he's out. He will feel much better not having people poking at him every few minutes, and just the fact that he can go outside again must make it better for him. Your work starts now so I expect you will be tired, more so just sitting around as that is very hard for some of us to do. More blogging I expect.- How will you go the the store? Take him along? Might be fun for him, he loves Whole Foods!

  22. I am exhausted just reading about all you do!! Be sure to find time to get some rest for yourself! I bet it is soooo nice to be out of the hospital room and in such a nice location!! David looks really good and I love the smile!! :-) Hang in there...sending lots of good thoughts and prayers your way!!

  23. so happy that all went well and hes out...happy for you to be in a nice hotel suite versus a hospital room...it must feel more homey...he looks great..and his color seems to really have picked up...I don't know how you do it Sherry..David is extremely lucky to have you as his caregiver...great that you can jot back to the hotel while hes in outpatients and have some 'Sherry' time...thinking of you both...every day brings you one day closer to success!!!!

  24. Yay! Out of the hospital. More work for you guys to make sure you maintain the sanitary conditions needed for recuperation, but a change of pace will be a boost to your spirits. With all that's going on, I would give myself a break and enjoy the treats.

  25. OK, transition made and we hope everyday keeps improving!!

    Nice suite if you can't be in Winona. Sure hope you both get some rest and take care!!

  26. Go uncle Dave! Way to bust out! You guys have endured so much yet continue to be steadfast in the battle. Three cheers for you both and lots of love from all four of us in cville. Can't wait to introduce you to our newest addition. She is a beautiful young lady and Ive already told her that she has a professional pie maker for a great uncle! If she is anything like her mother, she will certainly love her gat ant sherry's deep affection for ice cream! I hope the accommodations at Marriott prove to be as comfortable and luxurious as the pictures portray! We love you all dearly and think of you daily. As always, thank you aunt sherry for the marvelous storytelling......

    Blessings and Peace,
    Justin, Carmen, Norah and Elise

  27. Wow, nice looking suite! I hope it is comfortable for both of you and allows you both to rest well. LOVE the hat. Fantastic. Sorry to hear that Uncle Dave is still in some pain and generally not feeling well. I'm looking forward to hearing that he feels better and can wear his beautiful smile a little more frequently! Sherry - you've been great. I'm so happy and grateful that he has you. Thanks for taking such good care of him. I'm offline for a few days now but I'll be catching up on the blog as soon as I'm back in the real world! Love to you both - Amy


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