Three consoles


Here’s a room in the same building as the world’s longest model railroad. Why organ consoles? Why not? I guess the guy likes model trains and organs. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken at Northlandz in Flemington, New Jersey, and part of my famous Electronics and Machinery series.

A close look at that organ console on the right will reveal that one’s made of a bunch of electronic keyboards. Sadly, we never heard it or any of the others being played. Maybe next time. We were so exhausted after walking through the model railroad for hours that I don’t think we could have listened to any music at that point.

Today was a very good day for Shannon. She reports that she woke up at 3:00 or 4:00 this morning and just felt . . . normal. It was amazing! No real pain, she could move her muscles the way she wanted to, her head was clear, she was just fine. She was as excited as I’ve seen her in a long time.

Sadly, it didn’t quite last all day, which left her kind of discouraged by this evening. I understand, but I still think there was significant progress. She looks noticeably better, she can move better, she has more stamina, she’s doing just fine on much less oxygen, she’s eating better, she’s just better in all ways. I don’t think she really saw that tonight, but I did.

We moved today. Apparently, they had somebody sicker than Shannon who needed closer monitoring, and he/she could only get that in Shannon’s room. So we’re now on the fifth floor – room 5221. Drop in and see us. This room is the “negative pressure” room, which means it’s a bit smaller than other rooms in order to leave space for an anteroom. I think they use it to isolate extremely sick people. That’s not the case with us, though, so we’re just living in a slightly smaller room for a while. Not a real problem, though.

Shannon had her stomach x-rayed from several angles today. They’re trying to figure out why it’s so distended. So far, they haven’t discovered anything seriously wrong, which is good. She just needs to get as much exercise as she can and let time pass by. That will hopefully fix her up. We were a bit worried that maybe there was a blockage (there isn’t) or maybe fluid had accumulated outside her guts like it did around her lungs and heart (it did, but it doesn’t appear to be very bad at this time). So we just press on and have confidence that it will resolve itself.

Her white cell count was down to 5.7 today. That’s down from 6.7 (or so) yesterday and 7.7 the day before. And correspondingly slightly higher numbers the days before that. That’s good progress and things are happening just as we expected, leukemia-wise. No cure yet, but moving steadily towards getting back into remission.

The pneumonia continues to improve. A few nurses have told us over the past few days that they couldn’t hear any rattling in her lungs. I told the Infectious Disease doctor about that today and he had a listen for himself. He can still hear a bit of rattling, so we’re not done. But her lungs are clearer than ever. She was on 6 liters/minute of oxygen yesterday. They turned it down to 4 this morning, 3 this afternoon, and 2 this evening, and her blood oxygen level is comfortably above 92%, which is their desired minimum. She’s been much higher than that. So I’m feeling good about that aspect of her recovery.

While I’m sure we’ll be here for several more days, I’m beginning to think maybe we’re halfway done with our current stay. That’s not an informed opinion – just an opinion. And maybe I’m right.

I wrote Shannon a bit of a mushy email this evening. Normally, I wouldn’t share this kind of thing, but today I want my Loyal Readers to know how I feel about my wife. It ought to be edited for some awkward prose, but I’m copying it exactly as I wrote it. I hope my Loyal Readers will forgive my self-indulgence. Here it is:

Dear Shannon,

Today was a good day. I’m feeling so, so encouraged. Please stay courageous and strong. I feel like the right things are happening, albeit more slowly than we would like.

A familiar and wonderful thing happened on my way home. “Laughter in the Rain” came on and, as has happened so many times before, I was instantly 17 years old again and experiencing the giddy happiness of meeting and falling in love with the girl who would soon become the very center of my life. It is such a wonderful feeling, I just can’t help falling in love all over again. I played the song over and over and felt warm, young, happy, and in love.

Then something new happened. Suddenly, 38 years passed and it was 2013 and we were living in the Village. As we took our daily walks to the clinic, through the rose garden, or just around the campus, I fell in love again, over and over, every single day as we walked hand in hand. And it keeps happening.

I’m so happy we’re still together after all these years. You’re still that cute, happy, loving, mysterious girl I fell in love with all those years ago. You’re still the one I want to hold hands and walk with for the rest of my life. I love you more than I can possibly express.



Shannon’s college roommate Debbie and her husband came to see us on Sunday! It was great seeing her again and meeting her husband. She has commented here on the blog a couple of times and was planning to come see us, so it wasn’t a total surprise, but it was still a treat. Thanks, Debbie!

Not much work got done. I don’t know why. Shannon and I are both planning to get our noses to the grindstone tomorrow. I have several things that need some lead time before the conference, so I’m really running up against a pretty hard deadline soon. We’ll make it, though.

Mark appears to be doing well without us at home. I hope he doesn’t get to liking it too much. We’ll be back.

And that’s it for tonight. I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: basketball-player deer!

See you tomorrow.

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