Today was the day. My highly anticipated visit to MD Anderson for a second opinion. I woke up at 4am this morning in preparation for my 6am flight to Houston only to find this text message on my phone.
Please note the time this message was sent by Southwest Airlines (2:42am). I’m sure all the bats, opossums and raccoons were able to reschedule their flights while I slept through this text.
Knowing that my MDA appointment was at 8:30am, Trevor and I scrambled to figure out an alternate plan. Houston, by car and without traffic, is approximately 4 hours away from Dallas. In desperation, we were about to load up in the car when thankfully we received another text saying we were rescheduled on the 6:30am flight. My sweet dad was already at our house and was prepared to either jump in the car or head to the airport with us. I breathed a huge sigh of relief that it ended up being the latter of these two options. Trevor has a tendency to view speed limit signs as mere ‘suggestions’, so my stress level would have been elevated had we headed out on the highway under those conditions.
Our flight arrived a few minutes late to Houston where my precious friend Molly met and picked us up. Contrary to my statement yesterday, Molly was TOTALLY punctual. It turns out the only one on ‘Watson time’ was Southwest Airlines. Mol jumped out of the car and let Trevor take the wheel knowing we were in a hurry to make it to the hospital on time. Trev had the app, Waze, already cued up and pulled away from the curb before my dad even made it in the car. Or so it seemed.
Within what seemed like minutes (and miraculously with no speeding ticket), we pulled up to the massive MD Anderson complex.
Upon arrival, my dad, Molly, Trevor and I were met by the nicest volunteer who escorted us to the exact location of my appointment. We checked in and were seen soon thereafter by the nurse. Everything moved very quickly with military like precision, and I was very impressed. After the nurse left the room, however, we waited and waited and waited for the physician. Thank goodness Molly is a good entertainer and was the only one in the room that had actually gotten a decent night’s sleep. She was able to keep the conversation ball rolling while the rest of us fought our yawns. We even managed to get some pics during our down time.
Yes, we had LOTS of down time.
The physician finally came in the room and proceeded to go over my case. I was thrilled to hear that her thought process was exactly like Dr. O’Shaughnessy’s. She confirmed the diagnosis of Invasive Ductile Carcinoma (those words still make me cringe), while also stressing this is a very treatable type of cancer. She also mentioned that the pathologists at MDA found lymphovascular invasion of the cancer cells as well (not to be confused with lymph nodes). This was a little unsettling to me, but she explained that some cells had made their way into the vessels stopping short of reaching my actual lymph nodes. To which I say, THANK GOD. This doesn’t change anything we are doing, but just adds a little more information to the equation. Based on everything she reviewed, she could go either way on recommending chemo at this point. There is evidence to support that chemotherapy might improve my percentage of not having a recurrence, albeit only by a few small points. So one would have to weigh whether it was worth going through the process of chemo just to gain 2-3 percentage points. (To which I say, yes, yes it is.) In the end, she recommended I do what would give me the most peace of mind at the end of all of this. And as much as I dislike the prospect of chemo, it is most definitely the treatment plan that will give me the feeling that I have done everything I could possibly do to beat this unwelcome interruption in my life.
I am grateful for the confirmation and clear direction the Lord allowed from this visit. Many of you prayed for me today to receive just that. So thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Trevor, my dad and I hopped on the next plane back to Dallas after my appointment was over…
…and once we got home I changed into my pajamas faster than Trevor drove on Interstate 610 today.
These appointments are emotionally exhausting. There is always something new to process, and I’ve learned it takes me at least 24 hours to recover. So please pardon me if this post doesn’t even make sense or if there are lots of typos. I just wanted to update you as quickly as possible because so many have reached out to find out how it went.
I also want to thank my mom who held down the fort here while we were gone. She was able to take Hunter to his baseball game today, where his team had another victory.
And because of that, I get to go tomorrow to cheer on #8 and the rest of the Tigers as they advance in the World Series!!
Hopefully pajamas are acceptable attire.
Until next time…much love to you all & make every day count,
PS: Thanks to Marla for taking care of Hayes today and to Catherine for picking up Hudson at camp for me!! And thank you MOLLY for sacrificing your day to be with me! I literally could not do this without the help of my friends and family!!