Good evening, friends. Thank you so much for your continued prayers and support following my recent surgery on July 6th. And by support, I mean texts with the following pics saying ‘I’m thinking of you’:
I’ll never be able to walk through the candy aisle at Walgreens again without being reminded of this glorious season of my life.
The surgery itself was a huge success in that it was fast, I was in zero pain afterwards, and had no negative side effects from the anesthesia. PRAISE GOD!! The only benefit of multiple surgeries is that due to trial and error, we were finally able to successfully customize my anesthesia cocktail. Think NikeID but with Propofol. That, plus the Fast Pass actually worked! I didn’t even sit down in the waiting room because they took me back to my room immediately upon check in. One might say it was SO fast that I almost got ‘niplash’. I feel like as far as hospital visits go, this one will end up in the W column. My family, along with Kim and Amy, were able to come support me, for which I am so grateful.
The past few days have been a little crazy. I’ve been accompanying my friend Stephanie to her doctor’s appointments, and at last count we were up to 6 appointments in 3 business days. Efficiency is our strong suit. To those not in the cancer world, I realize that sounds like overkill. But when you are choosing a physician to remove cancer from your body (surgical oncologist), as well as choosing a physician to reconstruct your body (plastic surgeon), doing your homework is of utmost importance. With each appointment, we learned something new and valuable. I’m pretty sure at this point I know just enough to diagnose someone, but not enough to qualify as a bonafide oncologist. At one of Stephanie’s appointments with my surgical oncologist, the nurses even asked if I wanted to go ahead and be seen for a follow up since I was already there. Well, yes I do thank you very much. Are you gathering about now how incredibly bizarre this whole thing is? Steph and I are big fans of the Buy One, Get One Free concept, but not necessarily in this scenario. Later, Stephanie even joked that when we she visited my plastic surgeon’s office, she would just tell him to forget his whole spiel and she would simply say, ‘I’ll have what she’s having.’
I love my friends.
(I did want to note that Stephanie and I have been spending so much time together that literally we are starting to dress alike. #offtheshouldernavyandwhitechecksforthewin)
Tomorrow, Trevor, my dad and I are heading to MD Anderson in Houston for a second opinion. My friend, Molly Watson, will pick us up at the airport and act as our tour guide for the day. Molly, bless her heart, has a reputation for being fashionably late. Everywhere.We.Go. When I told my ever so punctual husband that Molly was responsible for getting us to my 8:30am appointment, my middle son Hunter (who overheard us) said, ‘Is she going to be on Watson time?’. She’s so fashionably late that we’ve even coined that term just for her. I’ve stressed to Molly that we don’t have to be fashionable tomorrow and that on time is actually late, so I feel confident she will pull through and we won’t be a minute over 8:31!! Love you, Mol, and cannot WAIT to see you!
My prayer for tomorrow’s appointment is that other expert eyes will review my entire case history and concur with Dr. O’Shaughnessy regarding the upcoming 4 rounds of chemotherapy. Dr. O was a fan of me getting a second opinion and I love her even more for that. I’m hopeful that the MD Anderson physicians won’t recommend more comprehensive treatment, but am open to hearing what they have to say nonetheless. Thank you for praying along with me for the wisdom and discernment of these physicians.
As for cold caps, you guys are a wealth of knowledge. Thank you so much. You’ve shared so many success stories, and I am optimistic that it might actually work to some degree. And while I’m amazed by this process, I’m still completely overwhelmed by all it entails. Having a frozen apparatus on my head for 7-8 hours might be the second item I’d put on my ‘Things I Never Want To Do’ list. And if the first wasn’t ‘Go Bald’, I might punt the whole idea. But I’m going to give it a try and hope for good results. Even though Jen and a host full of my friends (Kay, Lezley, Sterling, Sheila, Laura, etc.) have pulled off the bald look beautifully, I’m not sure I share their astounding courage and bravery. Either way, I know I’ll be fine. But I’m willing to freeze my follicles and see what happens! (A huge thanks to Natalie for walking me through this process!!)
Lastly, per my request, Dr. O is willing to let me start chemo after I get home from our family vacation. I’m so thankful for so many reasons. Since my diagnosis, I have felt tethered to my house. With so many appointments, tests, surgeries & scans, my schedule has not been my own. And that constitutes a claustrophobic feeling. I have missed so many of my son’s baseball games this season, which makes me sad. I love watching my kids’ games and since I have all boys, that’s how I spend most of my free time. Thankfully, I have been able to see his last two games and am cheering on the Dallas Tigers during the World Series this week (especially #8)!
After baseball season concludes, our family will be heading out of town for a much needed vacation. Something tells me I won’t be taking this one for granted.
My chemo start date will be August 1st and I will have it every 3 weeks until October 3rd (which, in keeping with my special occasion theme, will be 2 days after my middle son turns 15 and one day after my oldest son turns 16 #happybirthday #irishtwins). You can’t make this stuff up.
The Lord continues to provide peace, encouragement and guidance throughout this process. He gives me just enough distraction to not dwell on little aches and pains along the way. And He shows me love through YOU. Each and every day. Thank you for caring for me and my family. We feel so humbled and blessed.
Until next time…much love to you all & make every day count,
PS: “In every thing give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” I Thessalonians 5:18