If Marriott Made a Hospital

11.29.2007 | 6:50 am

I’ve been really impressed with the courtesy and level of care Susan and I have been getting at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. The doctors and nurses all seem a little more professional, a little kinder, than you’d expect. Maybe it’s because they know that everyone they work on / with has a very serious, personal problem.

It’s a little thing, but yesterday as I hung out in the waiting room for five hours, I had fast Wi-Fi, which made entertaining myself with my iPhone a lot easier (I browsed the web, checked this site often, posted a couple of entries with pictures I took with the iPhone, watched the Wire, and downloaded and listened to a Brian Regan comedy album).

And a guy with a snack cart came by every hour or so. No charge.

Nothing, however, prepared me for the room Susan’s staying in. Here’s the big picture (all pictures pop to larger versions in separate windows):


Yes, that room actually has two giant windows, with a beautiful view of Salt Lake City. And it’s big. If I’d known it was going to be big enough for 8-10 people to comfortably hang out in, I’d have brought a bigger Christmas tree, instead of the sad little Charlie Brown Christmas Tree I figured would be the maximum size that would fit in a regular hospital room.

Here’s the chest of drawers / entertainment center:


If it weren’t for the hospital bed, you’d swear this was a Marriott. (Check it out: hardwood floors and crown moulding.)

And here’s the bathroom:


Yeah, that’s real tile. I can’t believe it either. This is the thing, though, that blew me away. Susan doesn’t just have a private room. It’s a private suite. Here’s her sitting room, where she can banish guests who are being to noisy or demanding to see the scar.


There’s a certain irony at work, here. Nobody wants to be a patient at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, because it means … well, it means you’ve got cancer. But if you’ve got to be here, they sure take care of you.

PS: I’m about to head back over to the hospital, where I will witness Susan beginning physical therapy. Wish her luck!


  1. Comment by Clydesteve | 11.29.2007 | 7:02 am

    So, do you get to bring the kids and spend the night yourself, Eldon? Idt does look very nice, and I am glad for Susan’s sake that she is in a place where they try to raise her spirits with a few extra creature comforts.

    Christmas decoratios were a stroke of genius! Well done!


  2. Comment by usimpto | 11.29.2007 | 7:02 am

    Wow, nice digs if you have to have them.

    I’m so glad the surgery went well! Best of luck on your road back to recovery, Susan! Here’s to a pain-free hip!

  3. Comment by cheapie | 11.29.2007 | 7:03 am

    first! (sorry. thought i was on the bsny site for a minute)

    very nice. how long will susan be there? and was it only the ball part of the hip that was jacked up? not the socket as well?

    and why are there toilet seat covers in the bathroom? one would think that if you’re in your own hospital room you would be satisfied that the staff has cleaned the seat well enough to use. but i guess if a bunch of dirty mountain-biking guests come over, i’d want protection as well.

    best wishes for a speedy recovery susan! however, i’m starting to wonder if you are trying to imitate kenny. hip problems. same hairstyle. next we’ll be reading about you trashing eldon on the trails! =)

  4. Comment by turnonthejets | 11.29.2007 | 7:04 am

    Training already! Go Susan! (((((((((((((((((((More of these))))))))))))))))))))

  5. Comment by roadrash | 11.29.2007 | 7:10 am

    Susan – Best wishes for a speedy and pain free recovery process. We’re pulling for you as you begin PT.

  6. Comment by Uphill Battle | 11.29.2007 | 7:11 am

    PT??? Already? My goodness, they don’t dally around there, do they? Of course, last year, when my daughter had a broken neck and 8 broken ribs, they had her in the swimming pool at the rehab less than 5 days after the surgery! The room is awesome. I bet they even have premium cable and free on demand! Too bad Susan has to be sick to be there. Continued prayers for strength and healing!

  7. Comment by XCTiger | 11.29.2007 | 7:13 am

    Glad to hear the surgery went well. Given the trials and tribulations that Susan has gone through so far, I’m sure PT will be a walk in the park. ;-)

  8. Comment by swimmin' at sea level | 11.29.2007 | 7:49 am

    I’m so happy that Susan is doing well. I am also impressed to see a hospital get it right. The last time I was in a hospital, I couldn’t help but wonder why hospitals always put the windows BEHIND the bed, making it impossible to look out of them. And really, who wants to spend their days facing the door and hospital personnel rushing down the hallway to rescue someone who is in distress?

  9. Comment by Charles | 11.29.2007 | 7:50 am

    God bless you guys. It’s little things like the room and the standard of care that make a big difference in healing as well.

  10. Comment by JohnnyB | 11.29.2007 | 8:00 am

    You are a good man fatty, I wish your bride the best of luck!

  11. Comment by Chris | 11.29.2007 | 8:09 am

    Good luck Susan! We’ll be praying for you.

  12. Comment by cyclingphun.blogspot.com | 11.29.2007 | 8:15 am

    Glad to hear that everything seems to be going well! Here’s hoping your back up and healthy in no time!

  13. Comment by Philly Jen | 11.29.2007 | 8:15 am

    Susan, it’s great to hear that you’re on the mend! I’m sure you will be kickboxing again in no time. ;-)

    The Huntsman Cancer Institute looks really top drawer. It’s nice to see a much more immediately humane use of Jon Huntsman’s money than “R2-D2″ at the Wharton School.

  14. Comment by Kris | 11.29.2007 | 8:33 am

    Uphill Battle: It does seem strange to start physical therapy so soon, but this is the new trend. Studies show that the sooner you begin moving after surgery, the faster and better you heal.

    We already know Susan is Super Woman, now she’s also Bionic!

    And from the looks of the room, an heiress to some fortune. ;-)
    I’m glad they’re treating you well.

  15. Comment by bikemike | 11.29.2007 | 8:36 am

    isn’t chocolate used for hip replacement recovery?
    i’m sure the Reeses people would love to sponser Susan’s recovery.
    Hershey Kisses, Snickers, Kit Kat, am i getting my point across?

    Susan needs chocolate. oh, and hugs.

    i think i hear Mr. Nestle Crunch calling my name.

    YEAAA good hip surgery fixxer upper thingy that went well and all of that good stuff. uhh, gotta go, chocolate is kicking in.

  16. Comment by FliesOnly | 11.29.2007 | 8:39 am

    That place is looks waaaaay better than my house! But as you said, those that are there most certainly wish that they were not. That being said, it appears that she is getting the best of care both from the doctors, nurses, and staff…as well as her family. Take care and I hope her physical therapy goes well.

  17. Comment by Canadian Roadie | 11.29.2007 | 8:41 am

    Congrats on the new hip! I hope pt goes well and that you are up and kicking Fatty’s butt soon!

  18. Comment by leroy | 11.29.2007 | 8:49 am

    Glad to hear the operation went well!

    Good luck with the PT!

  19. Comment by je | 11.29.2007 | 8:50 am

    my father had his surgery there a few months ago. I, too, was impressed beyond belief at the quality of care. And by care, I’m talking about caring for the patient, not just practicing medicine on the patient.

    We’re lucky to have that place in our backyard.

  20. Comment by WIllie Nelson | 11.29.2007 | 9:01 am

    No matter what happens remember “it’s acceptable to punch the PT.”

  21. Comment by Kerri | 11.29.2007 | 9:05 am

    Susan’s room looks a lot like the Labor & Delivery rooms at the new Prentice Women’s Hospital, where I will give birth next spring. Each room is something like 500 square feet (our first home was only 700), and has an amazing amount of amenities (24-hour room service, access to the Internet from your bed, 42-in plasma TV, and some have a view of Lake Michigan). I’m glad she is being pampered, because with all she’s been through, she deserves it. All the best for a speedy recovery!

  22. Comment by Jodi | 11.29.2007 | 9:12 am

    Eh…..her room is bigger than my apartment. Sometimes living in Brooklyn doesn’t make sense. Sometimes it does. But right now….

    I’m glad you’re in those posh digs. And Salt Lake has a pretty sky-line at night. Take the good – I’m so happy they’re taking care of you there and Super-Woman (Kellene) is manning the home. Rumor has it the only thing in your house left to straighten-up is a shoe closet.

    Love you, thinking about you, wishing my apartment was bigger.

  23. Comment by Little1 | 11.29.2007 | 9:50 am

    glad to see someone gets that just because you’re sick doesn’t mean you have to be treated to sick surrounds! give those PT’s hell susan, show them how it’s really done!

  24. Comment by Lowrydr | 11.29.2007 | 9:51 am

    It’s great to hear that they are ready to start PT. Keep the good work going Fatty.

    Susan is now more than ready to Go………Fight………Win!!!!!!!!!!

    I’m sure of it, Karma and Hugs from the Mid-West

  25. Comment by Pammap | 11.29.2007 | 10:01 am

    If I lived in Salt Lake, I’d be over right away and get noisy asking to see the scar! If one must be banished, what a way to go! Very nice. Go get ‘em, Susan. We’re cheering for you!

  26. Comment by chtrich | 11.29.2007 | 10:03 am

    Awesome digs you hooked Susan up with. Good work. :-)

    Good luck with a speedy recovery Susan!

    And I have to put a plug in for Brian Regan – Totally Hillarious!!!

  27. Comment by KT | 11.29.2007 | 10:47 am

    Wow… that’s one nice place to have to recuperate in! I wonder if I can get their interior designer to come do my house?

    Susan, I’m glad you’ve got such a lovely place to be while you’re getting better. You’ve got Fatty’s Army (also known as Susan’s Army) pulling for you, so PT will be a breeze. Maybe they’ll let you go for rides (on the road, not on trails) as part of your therapy. :) Then, Elden can work on keeping his fitness while helping you out.

    And Kellene’s helping out at home? How awesome is that? She must be the Cool Aunt!

  28. Comment by BurkeInTheOzarks | 11.29.2007 | 10:53 am

    It’s nice to hear that she has a such pleasant environment, considering it is still a cancer hospital which, by its very nature, is never a very pleasant place to be. I hope it helps uplift her a bit. Best of luck with PT.

    We will continue the good vibes and prayers…

  29. Comment by will | 11.29.2007 | 10:58 am

    Rarely do i enjoy toilet photos – but nice.

    Glad to hear the surgery went well


  30. Comment by Charlie Brown | 11.29.2007 | 11:03 am

    Best of wishes for a speedy recovery!

  31. Comment by AMG in Texas | 11.29.2007 | 11:06 am

    Susan, Great job!! Now follow doctors order and get better fast.

    Wow, what a place you got there (or is it a palace?). You must be shelling our a TON of money for the diggs… Now that you are in the spending mood, did your doctor put in a smiley face scar for you? You know it looks like this :-)

    Speedy recovery and best wishes.

  32. Comment by no-man | 11.29.2007 | 11:14 am

    …and you didn’t even mention the meal ordering from the excellent cafe upstairs. Sure, they have standard hospital fare like watery jello in little plastic cups, but on evenings and weekends they just give you a menu and the cooks make your meal to order. Mmm. That defintely helped my mood in recovering from surgery last April. The Huntsman is undoubtedly as good as it gets, and the staff and doctors are the best, no question. Nothing but positive vibes in that building. Go, Susan!

  33. Comment by Bluenoser | 11.29.2007 | 11:28 am

    Hey Susan,
    Glad to hear Fatty say things went well. That’s one nice room Fatty. Like you say the appointments are real posh but how do you get to that chest of drawers on the other side if the windows?

  34. Comment by Flying Penguin | 11.29.2007 | 11:29 am

    Speedy recovery and absolulely the best wishes possible!!!! what an unbelievable room they really got it right. Good luck on the rehabilitative training! My sister’s went really fast once they got her up and walking on her new hip, her 4 girls were kind of the cheer leaders and that helped a lot. You have your extended cheer leading squad here on the blog and a GREAT one at home.

  35. Comment by Anonymous | 11.29.2007 | 11:37 am

    Unfortunately I’ve been spending way too much time in the hospital these past few weeks caring for my sick mother. And it’s a “regular” hospital…one with the horrible rooms, really bad temp control systems, cold and antiseptic bathrooms, noisy, and some of the worst food I’ve ever had to see.

    Honestly, do you think that someone who is suffering from extreme nausau due to chemo treatments would think that a lump of tough meat-like substance, covered in a gelantenous goo, and placed on top of some gummy potatoes, would even remotely think that it’s appetizing? But I digress…

    Glad to hear that the surgery went well. As nice as the room looks, I’m sure that there’s no place you and Susan would rather be than all warm and snuggly in your own home. Here’s hoping you get there soon.

  36. Comment by eclecticdeb | 11.29.2007 | 11:54 am

    The above comment was from me. (duh).

  37. Comment by Patrick from Astoria | 11.29.2007 | 12:21 pm

    1. Great to hear that the surgery went well; one step at a time, get it done, keep going.

    2. Any chance the PT will eventually include time on a stationary bike? (Continuing from that, will the titanium in the hip help her hillclimbing when the time comes?)

    3. That may be the most structurally rigid bathroom in the world.

    Allez, Susan! Health and strength to you in spades.

  38. Comment by Den | 11.29.2007 | 12:56 pm

    Still praying…

    Good luck with the therapy!

  39. Comment by Gillian | 11.29.2007 | 1:09 pm

    Big time bonus points go to the guy who brought the Christmas decorations.

    No kidding – that bathroom is on par with the bathroom of my tres expensif honeymoon suite. Dude. If you gotta do a hip replacement, do it up style.

  40. Comment by Marrock | 11.29.2007 | 1:34 pm

    I think her “room” is bigger than the entire building my apartment is in…

  41. Comment by Rachel Jimenez | 11.29.2007 | 1:39 pm

    Just recently started reading this blog, and I am truly stunned by Susan’s bravery and by your love. I admire you both and only hope my marriage is as strong as yours, although I wouldn’t want to test it!

    Very warm wishes to Susan and you and your kids… I hope all the good wishes from strangers helps in some way.

  42. Comment by Harp | 11.29.2007 | 2:09 pm

    I’m sure its nice to have a comfortable place to stay while in the hospital. Good Luck with the PT. I’m sure its tough. The two of you are in our thoughts.

  43. Comment by Caloi Rider | 11.29.2007 | 2:22 pm

    I just want to clarify for some suspecting parties that the commenter Uphill Battle is not me, despite my blog bearing the same name.

    By the way, Elden, good luck with everything. I am reading even if I’m not commenting these days.

  44. Comment by formertdfan | 11.29.2007 | 5:22 pm

    I am very happy that things went well and the docs are treating you all well — best of luck with rehab — hope the hip feels better already!!

  45. Comment by Uphill Battle | 11.29.2007 | 5:28 pm

    Sorry for the confusion Caloi Rider, wasn’t aware that you had a blog titled Uphill Battle when I took the moniker.

  46. Comment by Alister | 11.29.2007 | 5:38 pm

    God speed you both.

    Prayers for your recovery and return to home, Susan.

  47. Comment by Born4Lycra | 11.29.2007 | 6:37 pm

    Accommodation and surrounds are only what Sue deserves. Congratulations go to the authorities etc that got this place so right. Susan have fun at PT now that you are over the op it’s all downhill (in a good way) and you will be picking up speed as you go. Good work Kellene hope the kids are all okay.
    Team Fatty Rules!

  48. Comment by jill | 11.29.2007 | 7:09 pm

    I’m not a fan of the environmental havoc Jon Huntsman Sr.’s products have wreaked, but I have to admit, that Huntsman Cancer Institute is one of the most impressive gifts of philanthropy ever built. They do a lot of good there.

    And his son makes one good-looking governor.

    I hope everything is going well, Susan. Continued good wishes your way.

  49. Comment by Weean | 11.29.2007 | 11:25 pm

    Congrats Susan, and good luck.

    I can’t believe ‘Charlie Brown’ didn’t take offence at your Christmas tree comment.

  50. Comment by flossy | 11.30.2007 | 1:53 am

    I’m off to hospital next week for a relatively minor op (coincidently on the same day Susan was originally scheduled for surgery) but my private digs don’t match up at all!

    All the best with your recovery and rehab Susan.

  51. Comment by buckythedonkey | 11.30.2007 | 3:30 am

    So glad to hear you’re making progress – we’re looking forward to hearing about you returning home!

  52. Comment by Miles Archer | 11.30.2007 | 7:26 am

    My 9yr old daughter has some cute “swear” words that might be helpful to Susan during her physical therapy.

    Tartar Sauce!


    Oh My Eugene!

    I have no idea where these came from, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Spogebob or his compatriots had something to do with it.

    Good luck to you both. Glad that the surgery went well.

  53. Comment by Caloi Rider | 11.30.2007 | 8:29 am

    Uphill Battle-
    It’s cool. I wasn’t actually offended or anything; I just got a comment asking me about it. And I wanted to make sure everyone knows my 15-month-old daughter hasn’t experienced eight broken ribs.

  54. Comment by Anonymous | 12.2.2007 | 12:25 am

    Prays for you both! especially to susan!

  55. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Pills, a Speech, a Brick and Other Good Things | 08.29.2008 | 8:01 am

    [...] may remember that Susan had her hip replaced at the Huntsman Cancer Hostpital, and the treatment she received was nothing short of stunning. So [...]

  56. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Three Axioms | 11.23.2009 | 11:28 am

    [...] Huntsman Cancer Institute? Well, those of you who have been with my blog for a while know that they took incredible care of Susan when she needed to have her hip [...]

  57. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Cancer, Politics, and Religion | 01.10.2011 | 1:28 pm

    [...] treating those who do have cancer. When Susan needed her hip replaced, we went to Huntsman and were blown away by the quality and kindness we saw. This year, I’m going to do at least one fundraiser to help this [...]


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.