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Archive for November, 1997

As I get ready for the hospital, I’m feeling very healthy. The only remaining side effect of the chemotherapy is some itching in my feet. It comes for short periods of time, and then goes away. It seems to be a common side effect of the Taxol, called “neuropathy.” It isn’t clear to me whether the itching is evidence that the nerves are regenerating (as one nurse guessed), or whether this is the “neuropathy” that is a common side effect of Taxol chemotherapy. The itching gets intense when I go for a long walk, but it subsides when I stop. I’m assuming it will go away soon.

I’ve been walking quite a lot, and really enjoying it – especially the long walks around the reservoir in colorful Central Park.

I’ve continued to get more compliments on my appearance than ever before. People tell me that they like my “new haircut” and that I “look radiant.” The wig and makeup help, but I assume they are also responding to the fact that I’m feeling good inside. A psychiatrist also told me that my “equanimity is remarkable” – I told him that I’m pleased (and somewhat surprised) about it myself.
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Friends, relatives, and members of our synagogue’s “Bikkur Holim” (visiting the sick) committee keep asking how they can help.  Here is my list:

I’ll be entering hospital on Monday, Dec. 1, 1997.

Visiting:

Although my immune system will be wiped out during part of my hospital stay, and I will be confined to my room, I WILL be allowed to have visitors.  Although we don’t know yet when or if  I will feel well enough,  I’m expecting that I will appreciate visitors often.  I will have an answering machine to receive phone calls when I don’t want to be disturbed, and this will have information about visiting; please call before you come.  Please don’t visit if you have any contagious illness.  Visitors must wash hands before entering the room, and there might be some procedure for disinfecting packages.  There are no restrictions on visiting hours, though I expect they may limit how many visitors I have at one time.

It may turn out to be helpful to have a friend stay overnight at some point.  Let me know by e-mail if you’d like to be on the list of possible volunteers.

Where:

Columbia Presbyterian Hospital (near the George Washington Bridge in New York City)
Milstein Hospital Building, 5th Floor, Garden South [I’ll post the room number and phone number when I know it]
177 Fort Washington Avenue between 165th St. and 168th  St.
Patient Information:  212-305-3101
Parking at 165th and Fort Washington
Subway (1 or 9 or A train) to 168th and Broadway.

Phone calls, e-mail, and regular mail:

While I’m in the hospital, my sister, Naomi Robbins, will be staying with Sarah at our home.  Ken isn’t sure when he’ll sleep at home and when in the hospital.  If you want to call our home (212-877-8082), please do so before 9 p.m., so Naomi can get enough sleep and get up at the crack of dawn with Sarah.

You will be able to leave messages for Ken or me on the hospital answering machine. We continue to love getting e-mail from you, especially with your responses to our Web site (e-mail is often easier for us than phone calls).  Our e-mail address at the hospital will continue to be hbograd@compuserve.com  We’ll welcome your good wishes, but will not expect ourselves to return every call or e-mail message.  We appreciate your understanding about this.

If you want to send “snail mail,” mail it to my home at 165 West End Ave., 3R, New York, NY 10023, or to
Harriet Bograd c/o Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, Milstein 5 Garden South,
177 Fort Washington Ave., New York, NY 10032

No fruit or flowers:

I will not be allowed to have fresh flowers or fruit in my room, because they may carry infection.

Food:

If you are thinking of sending food, our home is vegetarian, and Ken and Naomi (but not Sarah) prefer low-fat foods.  My mother must eat only very low sodium foods – she will be at our home or in the hospital often.

Update notices:

Please let me know if you’d like to be on my mailing list to receive notices when I update this Web site.

Drivers:

My mother no longer drives, and sometimes will need a ride to or from her home in Hackensack, to the hospital or to  my apartment near Lincoln Center. She is willing to pay a driver. If you know of a reliable person who is an excellent driver, who occasionally wants work driving her back and forth, please let us know by e-mail or by calling Naomi Robbins at 212-877-8082.

Love,

Harriet

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