Today is Memorial Day, a day of forgotten remembrance, more associated with pre-summer barbeques than with solemn remembrance.
Cherished friends of Anne & Ken, many of whom met at Harvey Mudd College in the early 70’s, have, for some 20 years, had a habit of amassing at Boulderhaven in Ojai around this time of year for “ Star Gazing”, a weekend of gazing, grazing, and gabbing. Jon and [UCLA chemistry librarian] Marion Mercel who, with Pat Joyce, constitute this years quorum of gazers at the impromptu location outside Aaron’s private suite in the UCLA Medical Center 4th floor ICU.
Aaron’s continued improvement lends a festive atmosphere to the holiday. Natalie declares that we celebrate today “Praise God Party #1”, so a 20-strong contingent of family and friends descend upon California Pizza Kitchen in Westwood Village to rejoice. We are in a partying mood.
Clues to Aaron’s improvement are found in numerous places:
Ventilator settings are closer to normal: 40% oxygen supply saturation, PEEP of 8 or 9.
The Paralyzer was discontinued around noon; Aaron does well all day without it.
The under-damped ringing of the Ventilator Oxygen flow waveform has decreased to barely a ripple. This indicates increasing elastic compliance of the lungs.
Kim and Cheryl (night & day nurses) have more time to catch up with things like cleaning and grooming, so Aaron looks even better.
At morning rounds, the doctors spend less time, are not so somber, and make fewer changes.
The IV racks are less overloaded with bottles and bags of dripping medications, and the bags are changed less often.
Tested, measured and computed values—the numbers of his life—fluctuate less and trend toward normal.
There was considerable discussion among the doctors about discontinuing the Urinator. But it is agreed that it might be premature to do so….Aaron’s boat is stable and heading in the right direction…let’s not rock it too much all at once.
Michaela and Christopher return to Ojai with Grandma & Grandpa Metz after spending the long weekend at the Tiverton house with Mom and all the grandparents. They don’t get to see dad.
At times, we almost forget about the cancer. But never quite….we wonder what is happening deep within the marrow of Aaron’s bones. Is the enemy even now regrouping from last weeks devastating poison onslaught?