Friday, April 2, 2010

The Plan

As I write this I am sitting at the foot of the guest bed at one of my dearest friend Krista's house in a very comfy chair with my feet propped up on my suitcase. Since New York things haven't slowed down for a second.

I didn't get a real update on "the Plan" until Monday (March 22nd). I got to work Monday with only a million things to do. I jump in head first and before I know it, I looked at the clock and it was 4:30. Time flies when your having fun (or when you are eyeballs deep after only two days out of the office). I picked up Cameron from school, and I just wanted to squeeze her to death! She was playing with her best friend Alyssa, and she didn't see me standing at the door. I didn't say a word and just watched them play. Then she caught my eye and she yells "Momma!" and runs across the room toward me. She is so amazing for me. That two year old 22 lb. stink bug can make my day wonderful, no matter what the circumstances are. What a little life changer. I loved my life of before Cameron, but now I cant imagine life without her.

As I pull into my driveway I can hear my leather sofa calling to me, but I managed to keep myself away from that chocolate oasis of laziness, and I hit the kitchen. I didn't even take the time to change out of my work clothes. I put on an apron, pulled back my hair into a loose bun, and I started dinner. I highly recommend cooking dinner in nice work clothes with a pretty apron. It makes me feel like what I envisioned my grandmother when she was a young woman in the late 50s. I can see her cooking dinner for the family in classic pumps, a lovely spring dress, and a sunshine yellow handmade apron detailed with eyelet lace. My apron was ordered online, and my dress is from Ross, but I still feel lovely. Sometimes you have to fake it until you make it. Patrick got home, and I had dinner mostly ready. He came in the kitchen and laughed at me a little for wearing an apron. I just smiled and turned back to the corn, and he came up behind me and kissed me on the neck. "Thank you for cooking dinner." It was so sweet and genuine that I got a little choked up. "Anytime honey."

Over oven fried chicken, corn, green beans a crescent rolls he filled me in on all of the details from his trip. The MRIs and other scans didn't show the cancer, but when they scoped up his nose they could see it. It was very small, but they wanted to get it out as soon as possible to make sure that it doesn't spread. The results are a double edged sword for me. I am so thrilled that it is so small that the scans are not even able to see them, but the flip side to that is well what if there are other places that have small tumors that the scans aren't picking up? The "What if" game can drive you crazy, so one thing that I have gotten a lot better at since the first time I heard "I have cancer" is trying to go on only the information I have in hand, and not the plethora of information on Google. Nope. Not going there. Patrick's doctors decided against chemotherapy which was a huge relief for me. I am willing to do whatever has to be done to remove this intruder from our life, but I am so glad that Patrick isn't going to have to deal with months and months of from that nightmare. The bad news is that they are not going to be able to do Patrick's surgery endoscopicly through his nostrils like they did last time. Irradiated tissue behaves much differently than normal tissue, and it is at more risk for bleeding and it doesn't always heal well. Due to that, they are going to have to do the surgery cranio-facially. They will pretty much cut him ear to ear along his "hairline," pull down the skin on the front part of his face, cut through the bones in his forehead, and work from there. The tumor is almost dead center of his face about middle way back in his sinus. Now I love watching medical shows on TV. I can watch a show where they are performing open heart surgery and eat spaghetti at the same time. That being said, take my advice; don't Google cranio-facial surgery. I know that is like saying "Don't think about red." So when you click open a new window to look it up, be forewarned. It is VERY invasive. Anytime a procedures description includes "peel down the skin of the face" my entire body shudders. Amazingly they said that the recovery time isn't long. One week in the hospital and then a second week in Houston for follow ups. Then the very shocking news. "They may do the surgery as early as Monday [the 29]." WHAT? I'm not really sure why, but I was shocked to hear that date. I think it mostly stemmed from the fact that I had been out of work for 2 days, and that would leave 4 work days to get ready for 2 weeks more weeks of being out. Very selfish I know. We hadn't gotten the taxes done, I would have to prepare the house for Momma to come take care of Cameron, and ….. well lots of things. Even with my super ninja Momma skills, that would be pretty hard to pull off. Patrick was a little concered about it being so soon, but I put my brain into "you have 4 days sister" mode. I work like a dog until Thursday when MD Anderson called, and they decided to schedule Patrick's surgery for the following Monday (April 5th).

I worked hard on getting things lined up, Patrick did the taxes and we bought plane tickets for us and Patrick's dad. Mr. Bill (and Patrick's uncle) drove out to TX last year when Patrick had his first surgery. I didn't think that anyone was going to be able to come, and I thought I was ready to do it alone. I was wrong. Patrick was in surgery for 8 hours last year, and the waiting was excruciating. Mr. Bill was right there. He helped me roll Patrick from side to side and massage his back when Patrick was having horrible back spasms. We prayed together, cried together, and laughed together. If not for him, I don't know that I would have been able to hold my head up. I will never be able to express to him how much it meant to me that he was there with me. He is a wonderful man. I am so glad he is going to be with me again this time.

Baby sitter, check. Meeting at works covered, check. Laundry, check. I even packed my Snuggie. Yes I said it, Snuggie. I was the first person in line to make fun of the Snuggie. I mean it is a bathrobe worn backwards. Only in America can people make millions on a big piece of fleece with arms. What a crock! Then I got one for Christmas, and I love it. It is everything it says it is. Warm, snugglely, and you can work on your computer without leaving anything uncovered. MD Anderson has to be one of the coldest places I have ever been. Last year when Patrick was in the ICU, it was so cold that even under 5 hospital blankets I thought I was going to freeze to death. My suitcase looks like I am going to Antarctica and not Texas.

Logistically we were ready, but getting ready emotionally is going to much more challenging. Let's hope those ninja skills stay strong.

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