I know, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted. I can’t explain other than to say that for some inexplicable reason, my life exploded a few weeks ago; work at the hospital has been completely out of control, weekends have been spent traveling up and down the East coast, and I’ve been challenged to fit working, sleeping, and eating into the same 24-hour blocks of time. So, in lieu of interesting pointers to things on the web, I’ll just provide a few examples of what’s been taking up my time.

First, there are two of the last three patients who have become mine in the world of pediatric oncology. One is an adolescent young woman who came in with a large pelvis mass about a month ago, and was found to have alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma which had spread to a few bones in her spinal column — a dismal diagnosis with a similarly dismal prognosis. We started her on treatment, but last week, back pain led to the discovery that her tumor had continued to grow in spite of her chemo. She ended up needing emergent radiation, a wholesale shift in our plan, and many discussions about how much more dismal things had become. The other patient is a school-age boy with an extremely unusual presentation of pediatric leukemia. The treatment to get him into remission was the same we’ve used, without failure, for four years now; last Friday we learned that he became the first failure of that treatment. He was readmitted and started on much more intensive chemo, and we had to tell the family that we’ve moved from an 80-85% chance of cure to a 15-20% chance of cure.

On a less depressing note, Shannon and I spent a weekend driving down to South Jersey to pick up the last remaining stuff she had in her parents’ basement. This last load included most of the furniture for Shannon’s study, and almost all of her books, and getting it up here made us both way happier than one would think reasonable. For her, it was the first step to completing her little hidey home in the back of the apartment (the den from which Her Knittress will never emerge); for me, it was something hanging over our head for the past eight months, and it was fantastic to get it done. Another good thing about the weekend was that we did the move in a rented Dodge Ram truck, which was more fun to drive than I would have thought possible.

And finally, my brother is getting married, and I had a blast this past weekend going down to NYC for his bachelor party. We exercised in the morning, caught the Yankees (in what were the best seats my ass has ever seen in the House that Ruth Built), ate a ton of red meat at Spark’s, watched the Spurs get kicked out of the playoffs, and then worked on a few Guinness beers until 5AM. And yesterday, I caught up with a few friends at my old magazine, and took a lot of shit for not keeping things up-to-date over here. While the weekend didn’t do much for my sleep deficit, it was a much-needed respite from the hospital, and perfect for catching up with my brother.

I have a few more weeks on the oncology consult service, so I can’t promise to turn over a whole new leaf between now and then, but I’ll do my best!


DUDE! I was at that baseball game with my Dad, too. Wish I had known you were around!

• Posted by: Alaina on May 18, 2004, 7:39 AM
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