Sunday, August 31, 2008
Gustav (Day -5)
Ann's conditioning chemo of busulfan and fludarabine started without much fanfare last night and by the time we turned in things had started to feel a little more normal, in contrast with the rocky start we had gotten off to. This morning we woke up to the latest crisis du jour in the form of hurricane Gustav.
The interstates have been contra-flowed out of Houston and the local news is starting to report on gas shortages. From up on the 10th floor of MDA you can hear the periodic wail of police and ambulance sirens. I imagine that all the patients in the surrounding hospitals that can be evacuated are being sent to safety. MDA is doing likewise and considering putting it's ride-out team into place. The ride-out team is the skeleton staff of nurses and doctors that will operate the hospital through the storm while the rest of the hospital and clinic staff evacuate to a safe distance.
In theory this shouldn’t effect Ann's transplant, which at this point can't be stopped because the chemo has already started. The only thing that worries me is that if the storm were to shift its track a little more west and maybe slowdown a bit. That might make it impossible to get a flight into Houston which, could delay the delivery of the donor's marrow and jeopardize Ann's life!
As an aside: I have studiously avoided political commentary on this blog but, after seeing this on the net today I felt compelled to speak out. The two videos below illustrate some of the most callous and outrageous behavior I have ever witnessed. The first video is of Ex-Democratic Chairman Don Fowler who actually thinks it is funny that a hurricane is going to hit the gulf during the GOP convention. The second video is of Micheal Moore who muses, "I was just thinking, this Gustav is proof that there is a God in heaven...to have it planned at the same time – that it would actually be on its way to New Orleans for day one of the Republican Convention".
I do not disparage people for their political positions. We live in a free country and everyone is allowed to adopt their own views, values and beliefs. However, there is something unseemly, I would go as far as to say vile, in publicly wishing for the harm of millions of people so that one political party can score "points" over another.
Just to put it in perspective in relation to the subject matter of this blog...there are dozens of patients here at M. D. Anderson and probably more throughout the gulf, waiting for transplants, of which my lovely Wife is just one. Virtually all of those transplants depend on medical flights which could be grounded because of the storm. All of their lives could be endangered because of this.
Moreover, there are tens of thousands of people who still have not fully recovered their lives after Katrina hit three years ago, and have precious little in the way of resources. Chuckling that one political party is on the receiving end of this is ignoring the very real human disaster that is developing, is no less than venomous and amounts to nothing more than actively wishing harm on people just like Ann and me.