Day 6

The daily routine for now:

  • get up at 7:00am and have breakfast
  • be at 5W by 8:30 for vitals and meds
  • leave before noon
  • back at the condo for lunch (basically I don’t eat 3 square meals, I just graze all day)
  • detox salt bath
  • then there’s a whole plethora of things I could be doing: drawing, going into the writing course I downloaded, doing brain exercises, reading, doing a bit of stretching and energy work, watching a show, napping… but most of the time I am on the computer, dang it! Either working on the blog or catching up on emails or researching one thing or another.
  • movie or show
  • bed (I also check my temperature 4X a day)

Meds change with blood work and symptoms, but currently they are:

The nurses made a handy dandy chart that Pete transposes onto his computer to make it easy to update. I am not experiencing any side effects that I can detect.  vlprtu##shwt7&!!?wrshd!

Today, however, was the first day my mouth and throat were sore enough to bug me, making eating a new challenge. There is a real lump  in my  throat that hurt enough I had to resort to the pain killer they sent me home with. So today I had carrot juice, some cold soup, half an avocado, a jar of Earth’s Best peas and rice and now Pete is making me a milkshake to suck down the last pills for tonight, to be washed down with a glass of water and then comes the saline rinse.

Around 7 we did what we often do when we Skype the kids, we watch either Glee or Modern Family together. They set it up on Wolfe Island and we watch it here. It’s the closest we can get every day.

Today in Ottawa it was beautifully sunny. I get little air so I can’t tell how cold it is, but I do get some from the hospital to the car. That’s it. The car is parked underground at the condo, so I could avoid outside air all day if I was excessively germophobic. From upstairs on the 9th floor, the sun floods the condo and today showcased a spectacular sunset that this photo does not give justice to. You can see the silhouette of the Parliament buildings.

So close…

Don’t take the heading the wrong way. Everything about today went well. But someone at the last minute decided I do indeed need more platelets and a CT scan to get a new baseline of my lungs. I know, I just had an x ray. But this, they say, is the “new” me so I need a new baseline. And then one thing after another happened along to delay my escape, including air in the line and some mysterious backup, flustering the poor nurses. Nurses trying not to exhibit their flusteredness is a thing to behold.

Last night I was frothing at the mouth to get out (good thing no one saw me),  because  one by one someone gave me a reason why this was not to be. So when I got my night pass, we rushed home, collar high and mask tight into the below zero night, trying not to think I have less than 0.01 white blood cells. Any germish encounter would slap me right back, so I touched nothing nothing nothing. While I got organized, Pete prepared a nice dinner of rice and lentils,  something I have yet to see on any hospital menu, some frozen veggies and a bit of processed fish. I was so excited and ate what I could, sans crispy fish crust, chewing everything very thoroughly. After about 10 minutes I needed to sit back and evaluate how I felt. I had eaten bird size food, but it was real food, and a shock, quite frankly, to my system. Then came that feeling. You know it. The “get the bucket” kind of feeling. Not to be too gross but I noticed what came up most was the Kraft peanut butter and toast I needed to get by before we could leave. Then I was fine and we watched a movie together.

After returning like Cinderella at the strike of 11pm for my night time drip, I took an Ativan to assure a good night sleep and woke rested at 8:30 this morning.  I guess it is Shrove Tuesday, but there was no way I was touching those poopy patties and that glucose-fructose concoction. This time, I was prepared. I had brought from home a container of real oatmeal sprinkled with maple syrup that was percolating in the fridge. All I needed was a nurse to bring hot water and a little milk to mush it up. I ate about half and lay back waiting for it to build me up, buttercup! What I was really looking forward to was lunch, a delivery from Ottawa’s best vegetarian restaurant, The Green Door. We had scoped it out months ago as a source of good food, and maybe it was the chemo but it completely slipped my mind until the other day! So I asked for lentils, rice, vegan Caesar salad (safe because the dressing contains no raw egg), avocado, marinated beets, tzatziki and chocolate swirl cheesecake! Eating it was well, see for yourself.

The day that was to be just a drop in is now ending after 8 pm. From now until the next fever comes by, I need to come in every morning at 8:30 for an hour of antibiotics, then I go home again. It will be a nice new routine to get used to.

In terms of symptoms, what has noticeably changed is the tissue inside my mouth. Everyone checks to look for the inevitable sores BMT patients get. This had me a little anxious to get proper food into me before it was too late. Except for the pineapple in the fruit salads, everything else manages to go down if taken in small amounts, chewed well. A happy bonus is that this cheesecake just melts in your mouth anyway, so no chewing is required… As often as possible, especially after eating, I need to rinse with a saline solution. It just has become a habitual thing. No teeth brushing anymore, but if I feel particularly gross, a well directed washcloth does the trick.

Just an aside that totally pumped me up, news from the homefront. Jessie started basketball after I left. Today her team went to the finals and got in second, so all the girls are kissing their silver medals!  And Jess scored 6 baskets!!! This skill did not come from me, I was terrible at basketball; you’d think a team with the name Gold would have more luck. We lost every game, but I had fun. Yet to this day, it is the only sport I will pause to watch on tv.

One final note. Today happens to also be the new moon. This is an important time for farmers as it is the best for planting, allowing new life to begin. I kind of feel that this is what my marrow is doing. I have planted a new life and now it begins.

Playlist

In my preparation for extended periods of no motivation, the idea of passive (or active) listening to music came to mind. So I went on a search for inspirational music for just an occasion. Surely there must be stuff out there, even money making ventures cashing in on the cancer thing. What I found was a distinct dearth of exactly such material. Individuals listed a few favorites but nothing approaching what I had in mind. Well such a thing is only a challenge to make my own. In case anyone is curious or interested, or if someone down the road is looking for some ideas to help them get through a healing crisis, here is my list. Most of them are chosen for healing inspiration, others for their energy or plain upbeatness.

  • Dark Road by Annie Lennox    this sounds depressing but its hopeful and I love Annie
  • Landslide by Fleetwood Mac    a classic, sweet song
  • Don’t Stop by Fleetwood Mac
  • Don’t Stop Believing (regionals version) by Glee    of course!
  • Don’t Give Up by Peter Gabriel
  • You are Not Alone by Michael Jackson
  • Down to the River to Play by Alison Krauss     lovely gospel like song
  • Today I Sing the Blues by Aretha Franklin
  • Someday Soon by Lucy Kaplansky
  • Imagine by John Lennon
  • Holiday by Madonna     for when I can dance again
  • Cherish by Madonna    ditto
  • Today’s the Day by Lucy Kaplansky
  • Angel (Spanich version) by Jon Secada
  • The Dog Days are Over (Glee Version)    great energy
  • Free by Jan Arden
  • Set Fire to the Rain by Adele    powerful
  • Bridge Over Troubled Waters by Aretha Frankin
  • Don’t Let Your Feet Touch Ground by Ash Koley    delightful!
  • Let Her Dance by Bobby Fuller Four    for when I can
  • God Only Knows by The Beach Boys    always gives me chills
  • Good Timin’ by The Beach Boys
  • Just Stand Up! by various female artists, the only cancer support song I could find
  • Solid Ground by Bobby Caldwell
  • Hear Me Lord by Bonnie Raitt
  • One Belief Away by Bonnie Raitt
  • Angel From Montgomery by Bonnie Raitt and John Prine
  • The Lazy Song by Bruco Mars   because there will be a lot of days like this and it reminds me of the Leonard Nimoy video
  • Back to You by Bryan Adams    fun fun fun
  • Save Your Sadness by Christopher Cross
  • Carry On by CSNY
  • Deja Vu by CSNY   both songs you can lose yourself in
  • Feelin’ Alright (live) by Dave Mason
  • Day After Day by Alan Parsons Project.      childhood fantasy fodder
  • Layla by Derek and the Dominos   just because its one of the bestest songs ever!
  • Tiny Dance by Elton John    ditto!
  • Green Pastures by Emmylou Harris   more sombre by moving
  • Prayer in Open D by Emmylou Harris     ditto
  • What is Life by George Harrison
  • My Sweet Lord by George Harrison
  • Stronger  Glee version    OK, I know Artie is singing a girl’s song, but I prefer this one
  • Firework by Katy Perry   sparkling brassieres aside, I love the empowerment of this
  • Raise Your Glass by Pink    for when I can!
  • Desde la Obscuridad by Gloria Estefan      Spanish version of song she wrote after her back accident
  • Smile/Happy Days are Here Again by Rachel and Kurt   another Glee fav
  • No One is to Blame (acoustic version) by Howard Jones
  • Be OK by Ingrid Michaelson
  • Keep Breathing by Ingrid Michaelson
  • This is War by Ingrid Michaelson
  • Do it Now by Ingrid Michaelson
  • You Don’t Need by Jane Siberry    song that mesmerized me at my first post AA concert
  • The Sky is So Blue by Jane Siberry    just delighftul
  • Calling all Angels by Jane Siberry and kd lang     naturally
  • Electricidad by Jesse and Joy   Mexican duo with an energizing song I adore
  • Nuevo Dia (New Day) by Jesse and Joy
  • Annie’s Song by John Denver    childhood favorite
  • River by Joni Mitchell
  • Trial by Fire by Journey
  • Invincible by Pat Benatar
  • Laughing With by Regina Spektor
  • Human of the Year by Regina Spektor
  • Better by Regina Spektor
  • The Consort by Rufus Wainwright    this song just makes me soar
  • Ordinary Miracle by Sarah Maclachlan
  • Catfish John by The Gertrudes   more fun
  • Detours by Sheryl Crow
  • Strong Enough by Sheryl Crow
  • No One Said it Would Be Easy by Sheryl Crow
  • I Shall Believe by Sheryl Crow
  • The Finer Things by Steve Winwood
  • While You See a Chance by Steve Winwood
  • Fly by Steve Winwood
  • Hold On by Wilson Phillips
  • Just Like Heaven by The Cure
  • Above the Clouds by Cyndi Lauper
  • Thank U by Alanis Morissette
  • Song of the Whale by Tangerine Dream
  • Nostalgia Trails by Tino Izzo

Any other suggestions would be appreciated! The more the merrier!

Now on to the down and dirty; I am not going home tonight. The doctor finally came round (this after showering and washing my hair and getting new sheets and everything!) to say until I am ready for once a day antibiotics, I need to be here. However I can go out on a day pass and spend a few hours in different surroundings. So once we get the specifics from the nurse, we’ll hang here. I will need to come back for overnight. However it is very possible that tomorrow is more promising and I may be let out so that I come in only once a day. It depends on a few things, and they are still being super cautious. It’s as if they were disappointed that as soon as I left I got a fever. Well! So glass, still half full.

Day 4

When one gets a BMT, days count forward from there, making transplant day 0. So today begins Day 4. I am still in the hospital and anxious to get out because I am feeling so much better and my legs are beginning to atrophy! The drug regimen has been changing almost daily based on bloodwork that is taken, so every little thing is being monitored closely. The nausea has finally abated, thanks to drugs. There’s really no reason for full body misery that’s keeping you from eating that is keeping you from gaining strength and ultimately an opportunity to get out of here!  The last day or so my appetite returned and I was eating more, all the while thanking the Zofram, but it turns out they had discontinued it midway and I didn’t know! So my appetite returned all on its own. Yay, appetite! I have been fantasizing about food constantly, so this babystep is huge for me.

I also discovered the pshychoworld in the Land of Nod. One of the drugs I was on is attributed to vivid dreams, to which I am no stranger (the dreams of course, not drugs– I believe that sentence was syntactically correct, just clarifying…). But these ones are doozies, and the one I had last night was an interactive movie/play that had a real beginning, middle, end, flow, plot, bright colors, cool characters, music, suspense, adventure, humor…when it finished I woke immediately and the words that came to my mind were: that was a gem! I tried to hold onto it as much as possible but I was so tired I went back to sleep and only now can remember spurts of it. Someday someone will, if they haven’t already, create a device that can record dreams. This would have made a great movie!

I think I finally solved the iCloud problem that was preventing me from synching photos.

No, I didn’t. So I’m doing it the old fashioned way. This is an old picture, before the Atgam.  Still can’t access my iPad photos! And the spacing and sizing sucks. Will work on this…

In the meantime, an idea came to me during my mental acrobatics last night. The Dragon features prominently this year. Some writers have sent me dragon images with explanations why they were drawn to them and why they thought they’d be good for me. So your assignment, if you choose to take it, is to find me a dragon image and tell me why you think it would be good!. Eventually I plan to make a kind of scrapbook to print later.  Here are some delightful examples.

Happy hunting!                                                                                                                                             

Sus: Rebooted

Well today was the day! After 2 nights overnight with fever, vomiting and diarrhea I made it through to the other side and am feeling more human than I’ve been in a while.

After the 5 days of chemo and one day of small bouts of irradiation, I went back to 5 West for the ATG, which is designed to reduce the immune system even further so it won’t attack the new comers. This moniker always makes me nervous because of my reaction from before, of which the team was very aware, so I was under constant supervision as it was an 8 hour drip. At about the 6.5 hour mark I started to feel gross, then threw up.  Then I spiked a fever, anticipated, so they kept me overnight. The next morning, yesterday, I had the second and final round of ATG. Again, at around the 6.5 mark, my entire GI tract emptied its contents repeatedly and exhausted me beyond belief. I could not get up from the bed. I was feverish again and on Tylenol and various other things and sent to the In patient section where I had a private room and no desire to do anything, even sleep. I was soooo dehydrated and craving– nay– fantasizing about limonadas in Puerto Vallarta, all that luscious lime on crushed ice in sparkling water… torture! I came to be a huge fan of a simple cup of crushed ice. In fact, I realized that the ice tasted so much better than the water I would rather wait for it to melt.  That night I sweat it all out while the nurse applied cold cloths on my head and neck. By morning I was feeling better and by 6:30am I was sitting up with a renewed appetite. I am sad, but not surprised, to report that the food continued to be hideous. Even the toast gets reheated. By the time you get it, it is a cold dead thing you might want to put some concrete on to build a shed. As for the egg, more like a golf ball. At least the cereal was decent. But not enough. Off, Pete, to Tim’s, and get me a breakfast sandwich! That stayed down and paved the way for better things to come. Because my entire GI tract has been rearranged, I need to nurse it all  back to health. This is why we prepared and brought organic applesauce and yogurt, however these got thrown out by an overzealous nurse, so I had few resources available.

There was a little bit of preparatory meds, then the marrow arrived! I was to get 2 big juicy bags of it. It went in my IV just like any other drug, and all I had to do was sit back and watch benign episodes of Parenthood and listen to my CD “marrow mix”. We were allowed to leave around 2 or so. I was jonesing for a bath and Pete went off for more supplies (in the way of Depends…). In the tub I had a big pow wow with my cells. Guys, just chill. Y’all have a nice mash up, don’t be threatened. The new guys are coming in gently and fixing the place up. You did your  best all these years, thanks, I luv ya! Now git! but not too quickly!

Other than feeling more energetic and upbeat, the other thing I noticed was that for the first time in many years, my nails looked pink! I had been so pale for a long time, and now even my face looked ruddy. I wondered if it was the effect of the radiation, which is the appearance of sunburn, then tan. We’ll see how that goes. Another thing I’ve noticed since the ATG is some neuropathy in the lips– they’ve felt strangely fuzzy.

Here is what I am to expect over the next while. At the end of this first two weeks (or sooner) I will start to feel wonky. This is my body realizing its been tricked. This is when the fastest growing cells start to fall away: hair, mucous, more in the GI tract. It will be a touchy time with mouth sores and the works.  At about 18-20 days, engraftment should begin and new cells will start to grow. This is when we will start to see cell counts start to go up.   By 4-6 months, my energy level will be approaching normal.

I do like the baby analogy here. I have a new marrow taking hold in my body and I must treat myself like a baby to accommodate it. Soft foods, lots of rest, fluids, avoid crowds and sick people, salad bars, soft cheeses and questionable sources of food.  It’s also not unlike being pregnant. I’ve been down that route a few times, so it won’t be too difficult. I hope.

Addendum: for some frustrating reason I am unable to sync my iCloud to post photos, which has been causing a delay for me in posting this. It is the day after transplant and I had to readmit myself overnight because my temp was over 38. I’ve had little sleep and little stays in my stomach, so I’m quite miserable but am just now coming round to humanity again. The docs came in full force today discussing precautions, and this means I’ll be here thru the weekend. The thinking is that the BMT might have been the cause of the fever but since I have an already weak immune system, they have to be really cautious and consider other possibilities and so I went downstairs for chest X-rays.  I like their precautionary measures but it sucks to step back. I realize that there will be days like this, one up, one down, sometimes both within the same day. So though I don’t feelnth is is ready for posting, I will do so anyway.

A Couple of Bumps and Something Great

Hi all. Thanks for all the support and comments. I may not have time or energy to get to you all, hence the blog. Pete and I are setting up some mass email contacts for later.

Just a bit of an update. Yesterday was my first day of ATG, which is administered as a precaution against the donor cells. I may have mentioned before my nervousness about this because of the anaphylactic reaction I had with the horse version 7 years ago. With this knowledge my team has set up a very slow (days long) drip of the rabbit ATG, along with Benadryl and IV antibibiotics. Nevertheless, around 4 in the afternoon I came down with a fever and there was some scrambling to bring it down, which it did, slowly, and it meant overnighting here in the hospital. Pete considered staying the night but he decided a good sleep was better. Yet this morning he was quite upset because his cough was not getting better and he really wanted to be healthy and here for me. I discussed it with the crew today and it looks like he will be OK to deliver food and come by to pick me up later, and he’s hoping for a spot script for whatever he has. It was kind of emotional, not in a good way.

The good way came when the head nurse handed me a short note from my DONOR! It is a simple paragraph, describing how he’d been donating blood since he was 18, and when the Canadian registry came into being, he submitted samples for that too. He’d had one hit but not a match, until before Christmas when he got wind of my need and it turned out to be a perfect match! He discussed it with his family and decided to become my donor!! Of course it is all confidential, but the fact that this fellow has reached out means he is possibly open to a dialogue at some point– I believe it is a year. The nurse and I were both in tears– she said she’s been doing this 20 years and it never stops being emotional.

The Calm Before the Storm

Terrible. TERRIBLE! That I would leave so much time between posts. Two reasons: not a lot was happening, suddenly a lot was happening. To back track:

On February 2 I had my 3rd of three informational meetings with members of the BMT team in Ottawa. Accompanying me were my parents who had come up from Mexico and were able to help me settle into this fabulous condo we lucked into. We found that my internal compass was a better guide than any Google Maps so it turns out it is really quite easy to get here from the highway, and equally easy to get from there to the hospital. We’ve had some practice now, so that’s why I can say that! On this day we met Katie, the liason nurse, whose persona oozed reassurance and competence, and I came out of there feeling less daunted and more ready to go. She also made me feel better knowing that it was possible to see the kids after 4-6 weeks. She gave me a play by play of what to expect when I returned and thereafter, what drugs I’d be taking and how they would affect me. The best analogy I have heard about this process came from Katie: consider yourself a baby. You are, after all, getting a new marrow, a new life, so everything from that point on is growing from the bottom up, from the inside out. The nurses will even come in to sing Happy Birthday! The difference is I won’t be nursing to get my immunity, I have to trust my cells to allow the new cells to settle in and take hold, without hurting anyone’s feelings. To prepare them, and all the organs involved, I talk to them every night before I go to sleep. Some good stuff about energy healing I gathered in this book.

After the infusion, things get interesting and kind of bottom out as my body reacts to overload. It is very likely that I will be admitted for fever or engraftment reaction called Graft vs Host Disease (GVHD). I am expected to receive more infusions of blood and whatever else is need to balance me out. And the best news was that the marrow is fresh, no more than 48 hours away, transported by an RCMP officer and from a very large (apparently!) male with, as Katie said with a smile, “fresh, juicy marrow!” This fellow has the exact same typing as I do, and his blood is A+. Mine is A-, and will shift to positive!

A member of the hematology team was next, Dr B-B who told me specifically that after the 16th, the cumulative effects will be felt, so there will be fewer blogs, no doubt. Everyone expects sores in the mouth, so getting food into me will be a challenge, as will avoiding infection, and there are rinses to help with that. The entire GI system is being affected, and those cells, as well as the hair follicles, are the first to go, but they are also the first to come back, so the fact that this state has to be temporary is somewhat reassuring. I was started on Dilantin, an epilepsy drug, as a prophylactic when the other meds kick in the following week. As well, after the marrow cells go in, I need to go back to the ATG, which was the stuff I took when I was undergoing treatment for aplastic anemia. I am leery of this, but I am told it is the rabbit version, that I tolerated, and a short term infusion, and its design is to suppress the donor’s immune system to keep it from reacting too soon (another form of GVHD).

So now I need to re-locate to Ottawa. This was the day I had been dreading, saying goodbye to the kids. I was given a reprieve when I got the call that things would start on Tuesday rather than Monday. So on Monday we all slept in and let the kids dictate things, but I did have to go, and it was a sloppy goodbye, one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Jessie had asked me the night before if I was nervous and I admitted yes, I was, but getting on that boat to start the journey toward Ottawa, a new marrow and a new life was a step in the right direction. We Skype daily and Jess is trying to teach me how to text with my iPad, and Pete with his new iPhone. This means we are a completely wired Apple family. (Kickbacks here, please!).

The condo, if I didn’t mention before, is on the 9th floor and overlooks the Ottawa skyline. From my bedroom I can see the Gatineau and the Parliament Buildings. If you are into numerology, and I am a little, you will feel a tingle when I say the building number makes 4, which is my numerological number.  The room number is 910. 9 is the number of transition, much like the death card in Tarot, coming to the end of something. The 10 refers to starting over, being back at the beginning. If you’re not shivering yet, let me tell you the name of the building: it is The Renaissance! I did not notice this until Pete and I were leaving on my first trip here. It added to the rightness of it all.

I know I am behind, as today is the 3rd day of treatment, so I will give a brief outline of the previous 2 days, known as Day 8 and Day 7. We are counting down to Day 0, the day of the marrow infusion. Day 8, which was for me the first day, was a very long and tiring one. I was told to check in at admitting at 6:45am, and then I was directed up the 5W, the BMT wing, but the day nurses hadn’t even arrived yet, so we went down to hang out at the café. I think this was the moment I was most nervous, because the process had begun but really hadn’t, and this was a good time to bow out. I couldn’t finish my coffee, I was so knotted up inside, and I really didn’t hear anything my parents were saying. When we finally went up to the room in 5W, we had an emotional moment and then came acceptance and I felt ready to hand myself over to the utterly personable and competent staff. They sent me back downstairs to have my Hickman (IV) inserted. This process took longer than necessary because no one had thought to take blood earlier to see what my platelets were up to, since this was minor surgery. After a long wait I was wheeled into a modest OR where a pair of young doctors were ready to set me up for the procedure. I really appreciated the nurse anesthesiologist who coached me through. I had expected something more invasive but it is just a pair of tubes to access my vein for blood drawing and entry of drugs. Later I went to radiology where two technicians did a CT scan and marked my chest and back with plain old Sharpies and scotch tape to indicate where the radiation is to be directed and to avoid irradiating important bits. I found the procedure very relaxing, having had little sleep the night before. I was drained when we came back to the condo, and hungry. Fortunately the next day, Day 7, was simpler, IV Fludarabine and IV Busulfan. As well, I was given a shopping bag of various drugs and instructions what to take and when. It is overwhelming but temporary, and designed to reduce the side effects that are to come.  I was curious to find that some of the drugs are meant to detoxify the liver and other organs, to help flush the junk out to avoid complications. I keep thinking they know this works because of patients before me on whom they experimented. To those I give many thanks! I have consented to 3 studies that students have offered me, in line with educating future doctors and patients.

Each of those days I had visits from different team members, all still new to me. One was the pharmacist who gave me every detail I could possibly want about the drugs, and he reinforced the point that this method has been perfected over time and has been used successfully for over 10 years. What I did not want to hear but now understand is that here is no place for homeopathics or alternatives. With no studies (and there should be) one can’t predict how each will affect the other. It is a sacrifice I have to make as I entrust myself to this protocol. When engraftment takes place and my body starts to recover, I can go full hog on rebuilding. I was prepared to argue my points when the dieticians came in, but they were both so charming and knowledgeable that I was impressed and only had a couple of questions that they actually followed up on.  I need to intake a lot of protein and calories to start the rebuilding process and when the time comes when I cannot abide eating, the options offered were things like Resource, Ensure and Carnation Instant Breakfast,  Instant yuck, you mean! But I tried one, and within half of an Ensure, my tummy was troubled. If you read the ingredients, you will see why. But again, I realize it is temporary, and if that is the only source of nourishment, then so be it. Whatever it takes to get me through those bad days, because if I don’t take liquid food in my mouth, the next option is through a tube!

Today, then, if you are keeping track, is my third day but considered Day 6. Now that the routine is down, it was a manageable day. In this room I suddenly had none of the WiFi that I set up yesterday, but instead I had free tv, though daytime has the worst options. I was happy with the Space Channel for a couple of hours. The pleasant doctor who came in yesterday to chat returned to do so again and was impressed to see I was watching The Next Generation. Maybe tomorrow I can catch part 2 of the Borg episode!