Saturday, February 2, 2008


Welcome to the Huntsman Cancer Institute! My mom asked us girls to be in charge of the blog today, and since we can't compete with her verbal prowess, we thought we'd throw a bunch of pictures up, in the hopes that a picture is worth a thousand eloquent witty clever words. Come, join us, on a tour of our daily treks. Remember to stay with the group. No flash photography.

Dad's located in the SCU (Which they pronounce "sick-you", which we think is rather stating the very obvious) and it stands for "Special Care Unit". This is the place where they can monitor him very closely. We renamed it "Superman's Care Unit".

The nurses at the SCU are very friendly, very competent, and very tolerant of the ever-present, ever-annoying Clot.

Dad gets many visits daily from his plethora of doctors. Pictured are his two very talented surgeons, Dr. Mulvihill and Dr. Fenton. Dr. Fenton went to high school with Erin, but we asked him to overlook those awkward years of hers. He gave us updates each step of the way, and he
has been a valued member of the team. Dr. Mulvihill is a rock star here, famous for "The Whipple" across the nation. We are very lucky to be under his care.

Boy, the Huntsman Cancer Hospital got this so right. Most rooms have a killer view of the city and the mountains, and each room is private.

The best way for Dad to recover is to get him up and about. He's still about 115 pounds soakin' wet, but if he sneaks his tubes, bags and portable electronics on the scale, he's up to his original fighting weight.
He is up to three laps around the patient floor. We told him one lap equals a mile, because an inflated ego is important in recovery as well.

He has a pneumothorax, (air stuck outside his lungs) and if it doesn't go away, he'll have to get a chest tube. So he is working hard to exercise and take deep breaths to avoid this. Erin and Brodi brought their playing cards and suggested a game of "Suck and Blow", but the nurses said this could not replace the regulation blowee thingee.

After all the work, it's time for Dad to take a break and get some rest. Which leaves the Clot with a computer and some quiet time to fill. Unfortunately for you, that means long and boring blogs. By the way, Erin nearly incapacitated my computer by "faking" this picture above. I think I have it working now, but she's not allowed to touch it again.

Eventually, when the Clot has become absolutely unbearable, my Dad pretends to be asleep, just so he can enjoy some peace and quiet.

Much love to you all, from the Happenin' Huntsman Institute,
the Clot


Anonymous said...

Hi Dennis and Clot,
I'm in clinic today, reading your blog during a brief break in the chaos. I find myself tearing up a bit, but I am happy. Very happy. The day looks brighter, despite being on call. " I CAN see another patient with bronchiolitis, I CAN see another patient with bronchiolitis..."
I think of you often, Dennis.


Barb and Jeff said...

Hi Dennis, Joan and girls, You're all amazing and wonderful. Den, you look so good! Sleep, dream and keep pushing that button! Same for you Joan, and double! We love you guys. Barb and Jeff

New York Sims said...

Where do I sign up for a PCA pump?! He he....

We are SO happy that things are going so well. (I know it's in part because of two kids praying for "Dr. Ashton" every single night!)

I love seeing the HCI; it's fascinating to see where you are spending your time. Keep all the info coming!

Love you all so much -Mel

Amber said...

Dennis!! You look so tan!!! Are you using the bili lights more than you should? Or just slipping out in your skivies to tan on the roof?

Deanna said...

You are so wonderful for giving us pictures and text so we can fully appreciate our journey with you. Keep taking those deep breaths Dennis--Love you--Deanna

Franklin and Kathleen said...

Dear Dennis, Joan, Brodi, Erin:
This has been such an amazing experience that you have allowed us to be a part of. We have felt your strength, courage and humor. Please know that you are still in our every prayer and know that we care so much for you all. We are lucky to be coat tail relatives of you but we claim Brodi as our own. Keep keeping on. Love, Franklin and Kathleen Johnson