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A very interesting follow up at UCLA today...

Posted Jun 26 2009 4:47pm
Today I had another follow up appointment with my oncologist at UCLA, and while there, Brett and I got caught in the middle of the Michael Jackson media frenzy regarding his death in the building next to the one we were in. What a sad loss at only age 50.

The day started routine, I arrived a little late for my 12:30 blood draw. Because the results take an hour, Brett and I walked into Westwood to Chili's for lunch. This was a good 3 block walk for me and I'm getting stronger. Apparently, while eating at Chili's, Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, was brought to UCLA Medical Center by ambulance in Cardiac Arrest around 1:00. As we walked back to my 1:30 appointment, Brett and I noticed a helicopter that was hovering the hospital and seemed out of of place since it wasn't landing. Once we got in and into our waiting room for my doctor, we jumped onto WiFi to read in the news what was going on. We couldn't believe we were right there. As we waited, we heard the news of Michael Jackson's death via Twitter. The helicopter sounds grew, and we were curious what was building outside. The nurses weren't really confirming anything, but it was obvious some were in the know.

After waiting almost two hours (my oncologist was fitting me in) we finally got to the exam with my doctor. My rash is healing, and the pain I am feeling and describing is my entire body growing a new layer of skin. She said two more weeks and I should be through the worst of it. She was very pleased with how I was healing, and my White Blood Cell counts, Hemoglobin and Platelets couldn't be more normal - I could donate platelets now if they'd let me! And then as we were about to get to some bigger questions, a fire alarm went off. We had to evacuate the building with the doctors and nurses and stand outside as the media frenzy was growing regarding Michael Jackson. I think a Paparazzi probably pulled the alarm as a distraction. Still, we had to wait for the fire truck and the all clear, within yards of the entrance to the hospital where Michael Jackson was.

In fact, after the little fire alarm, we found out that one of the nurses (the one who takes my vitals) was approached by a young black man as we were waiting for the all clear. He told her his name was Jermaine Jackson, Jr. and he needed help finding the entrance to the hospital, so she escorted him. She was just a few feet away, and we missed it! Once we got the "all clear", we went back in to finish my appointment. At that point, a lot of the nursing staff was confirming that Michael Jackson had indeed passed away. Not sure if we knew ahead of everyone else, but it was still shocking news to say the least. The good news about the rest of my appointment: I am still cancer free, and I no longer need to have blood draws at home! Yay!

Once our appointment was done, it was around 4:30, and Brett and I started to leave, hearing that streets had been closed and we may run into problems. When we got outside, we couldn't believe the change. Seven satellite TV trucks lined up and thousands of people with flowers, signs, etc. We decided that since we were thrust into the middle of it, we may as well get a couple of cell phone photos. It was amazing, it was almost like within an hour, thousands of people were there at the hospital. Here are the two photos I managed to take on my cell phone:

And of course, we had some more drama. As we tried to cross the street to take photos, I tripped over my flip flop and skinned up my arm and leg. It happened right in front of two paramedics and they did nothing. They must have thought I was some Michael Jackson fanatic. Brett was hoping to get interviewed so he could say, "Michael who?" He has such a sense of humor! We went back to oncology where they patched me up, and then we were finally on the way home.

We made it out of the parking the "back way" on Gayley very easily and hit some traffic on the way home. It was a long, strange day. But lots of good news amongst the sad news in Hollywood with Farrah and Michael. I hope they rest in peace.

My next appointment is in two weeks - I'll keep you posted! KCA!
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