Sunday, August 26, 2007

Finishing BMT.

photo: leukemia cells. From PLOS Biology.

I'm now finished with the bone marrow transplant service--or what is really the hematologic malignancy service, which serves people with lymphoma, leukemia or other problems of their blood and immune cells. It was a tough month, with long hours, as my lack of posting at this blog will reveal.

One snapshot:

The floor below is a labor and delivery floor. On the elevator up, a family of kids and adults is talking excitedly, carrying a congratulatory balloon. One woman stands quietly on the side; the oncology/bone marrow transplant floor button is already pushed when I get on. The family leaves at the labor and delivery floor, and the door closes, leaving her and me in the elevator. She says, "It's amazing how different those two floors of the hospital are." We get off at the next floor; it is quiet.

A sign at the entrance to the BMT wing tells visitors that children under 6 are not allowed. Small children and their microbes are among the many things which pose potentially mortal danger to people getting bone marrow transplants. They are sitting in their rooms, waiting for their new immune systems to grow.