January 3

Feels like progress today! Dad moved from the Stanford ICU to their transitional care unit for neurosurgery patients this afternoon. This says nothing about his current health and recovery, but it means that he is stable enough (and Stanford transitional care has the technology available) to move from a 2:1 to a 3:1 nurse / patient ratio. 

This morning, my dad was disorganized and hyperactive. Yesterday, Hunter helped my dad move from Santa Clara Valley Medical to the Stanford ICU, but my dad was convinced that his move had happened this morning. He expressed that he was really worried about Hunter, believing that Hunter was in the ICU room next door to him. We called Hunter, which helped my dad understand up from down. Another example of his disorganization: he believed we were in San Francisco somewhere, rather than Palo Alto. When I brought up his disorganization and confusion with him, he said it perfectly: “all the little things are tweaked, which means all the medium things are tweaked, which means that all the big things are tweaked, too!” He gets it, even when he doesn’t have a firm grasp on the world around him – and who can blame him for being confused? He has spent the last two weeks in at least 6 different hospital wings, in different cities, with different hospital staff each day. 

My dad was visited by a number of different neurology teams, in order for them to get acquainted with my dad and his current condition. The best part of the day for Robbie and I was when Dr. Shermann (transitional care neurology resident) visited my dad to perform an in-depth analysis of his brain functioning. She had flawless bedside manner, and engaged with my dad with patience and humor. She was performing an initial assessment in anticipation of his transfer to the transitional care unit sometime today. 

My dad was bright, engaging, and talkative today. Robbie and I were joined by Andy, who held down camp for awhile today. Hunter, Carol, Shingo, and Isabel later joined by dad’s side after he was transferred to transitional care. My mom took the night shift, and kept him company in his new room with a view. According to them, he remained engaged for most of the day, a sign that he’s slowly recovering more energy post op. Physically, his left side appeared stronger than previous days. He had two different physical tests while I was there, and his left side appeared significantly stronger than it had in other examinations. This is with hardly any PT, so I feel cautiously optimistic with his ability to regain strength on his left side, if given the opportunity with PT, OT, and ST. 

It’s important for us to remember that, although he’s transferred to transitional care, this says nothing about how the swelling in his brain is faring. He remains on saline and close observation. It’s possible that he could begin treatment on Monday. It is just as possible that he’ll have to remain under close observation, and delay chemo/radiation until the swelling in his brain reaches a safe level. As always, we take it day by day. 

More tomorrow. For now, I send thanks and love to all our friends and family who have loved us so actively these last few weeks. I wish there was a better way for me to express my gratitude to each of you. 

With love.

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