Amy is not one to go 1/2 way on things. She held one of the more recent records on the 7th floor of Seton Main. 45 days in room #704. It was the record for longest stay. Of course they don't keep official records. It's not like when she held 1 or 2 IM bike course records.
According to the nurses 45 days was about as long as they could remember anyone in recent history staying. She was back for a round of consolidation therapy well after, 6 days for that one. Again, we went back yesterday for some 'energy' as Amy said. A bag of packed red blood cells and platelets...there's more than a small bit of irony in that. With a hemoglobin of 8 and the weekend coming up, our Dr. decided that red cells would be needed before Monday. All told we are up to almost 2 months of time in Seton.
We continue to learn through this. Learn by gaining knowledge. Learn by experience. And one thing that you learn is that just about everyone is passionate about their 'story'. Our story, like everyone else's, continues to be written. Our story will include Dr. Yorio as well as the staff at Texas Oncology. And, certainly the staff of 7-North will be in that story. As will too many to mention of our friends and family. Soon, we'll add to that story the folks at MDAnderson.
"7-North" is how the nurses answer the phone on the 7th floor. 7 for obvious reasons. Since we might have a global audience...if you are using the US nomenclature it could be the 8th floor since the 'ground' floor might normally be considered the 1st floor...sort of like Fahrenheit vs. Celsius. North because it's on the North side of the building.
"7-North" is the oncology floor. It is a dedicated oncology wing. Most of the nurses there are chemotherapy trained, and if they aren't they are learning to be. Most of the CAs (clinical assistants) there are also dedicated the floor. It was rare that there was a floater on the floor, and when there was you could kind of tell. Kind of like telling a local friend that the visitor you brought with you "ain't from around here."
When we left the first time we jokingly but kind of seriously said "We hope we never see y'all again." Jokingly because if a hospital stay can be pleasant it was. Serious because it's true. If, after all of this, we never have to set foot on "7-North" again we'll be happy.
Having said that, there may be another visit or two to Seton depending on what is next. Coordinating a stem cell transplant has several moving parts. Regardless of whether or not we head back to the 7th floor, the staff of "7-North" will be part of our story from here on out. They have done a great job. The nurses, CAs, and other support staff really keep things going for the patients and hospitals, and I suspect are a very overlooked part of the business of healthcare. It sounds like a little thing, but when the staff call you by name as opposed to your number, it is nice.
I'll close with the fact that since we are home, Amy misses her 'call' button. As a replacement, her mother got her a bell...you know who has to answer!?