"Independence" Day

It is kind of a weird feeling to 'want' to go to the hospital, but that is kind of how it was last Friday when the nurse and pharmacist at the ambulatory treatment clinic (ATC) at MD Anderson told us we had a couple of days off.

Our July 4 Independence Day celebration would be the first day in just over a month that we would not be at the hospital. Even still it was another 'holiday' spent during Amy's treatment. Every possible holiday since December 23 has been spent in, between, or near hospitals.

Having the day off was also a bit weird. It is odd to say that there is some bit of comfort when you are in the hospital. It's comforting to know that the Drs, nurses, and other staff are the pros. Being 'in' the hospital as opposed to having to go 'to' the hospital for treatment daily is relatively easy. When Amy was discharged from G17 (one of the stem cell transplant/leukemia floors), we still had to go to the ATC daily. That was a trip that was as short as 5 hours or as long as almost 10 depending on how the wait was and what was needed.

The days that we have to go to the ATC are difficult and long. Those days are what a lot of people think of when they think of cancer treatment and chemotherapy. In this case though, each patient gets their own room as opposed to sitting in a community room receiving any number of transfusions.

So, they send you out into the real world. It's actually a bit daunting. Back in your own home or home away from home. Eating your own food, which is nice. Nice except Amy is on a no fresh fruit and veggie diet...something she is distinctly non-plussed about! The pros are gone, you're on your own so to speak.

Last Friday when they told us we had 2 days off, we were kind of like "Are you sure?". "We can come back on Sunday." And then, as we've been told before, someone mentions or you read "People get sick in hospitals!" Going home suddenly seemed ok.

But, we had a couple of days off. We stayed away from July 4 crowds. Cooked and ate in. Watched a couple of OITNB episodes and more HGTV. Sunday seemed like a good day to go for a walk in the park and have an American meal of pizza. We got a couple more days off after yesterday's appointment. Days off from the hospital. The picture shows that treatment continues even on your days off.

And so it goes. They say the first 100 days post-SCT are some of the most important. We're about a 1/3 of the way through the first 100.