Considering I made arrangements for Lincoln to be with Aunt CC and for my high school posse to take me to the doctor, it was unfortunate when I tried to check in and was told ‘we don’t see you on the schedule.’ In all my over confidence I said ‘oh, maybe the research schedule is different…? I have labs at 9:10 and Dr. Osborne at 9:40.’ Or not.
On Saturday, I had taken a boob selfie driving down the backroads of East Texas with Lincoln and Scott (if Linc isn’t traumatized by his mom’s illness and all the talk of heaven then the boob selfie surely got him a guarantee for counseling!) to send to Dr. Osborne (with a PS of ‘I really hope you aren’t at dinner with your boyfriend right now…’ because nothing could kill a fun date night like seeing my boob appear on her screen!). I had shown Scott (probably also traumatic for Linc!) and he agreed it didn’t look right so I was becoming increasingly concerned about the never-before-problematic left boob. What the heck? Cancer isn’t supposed to be contagious but you wouldn’t know that by looking at my left one. Maybe it was just jealous of all the attention?
Needless to say, I wanted to see Dr. Osborne this morning. She had replied to my text on Saturday saying that we had to give chemo a chance (only one last Wednesday and another this Wednesday) but also concluded with ‘…craziness.’ Yeppers.
As it turns out, the appointment I had was canceled (I missed memo clearly!) because it was part of the research schedule. Nancy came into the lobby to break the news that I wasn’t on the schedule and Dr. O didn’t have any openings. But nothing like a posse and a shameless begging to get you past the guards. Christina, the nurse, thought maybe the red skin on left boob and growing right boob were just cancer taking its course (since inflammatory is in breast and skin and blood vessels) and moving across my chest. And that made perfect (albeit unfortunate) sense. I also have a rash on arm and shoulder on right side but that’s pretty common with chemo. Christina also mentioned ‘radiation recall’ so needless to say it is interesting and puzzling. But I wasn’t leaving without eyes on Dr. Osborne and she and Christina are pretty great to accommodate me! She came in and raised yet another level of concern – an infection. Oh my. It’s red and hot and will make you wonder if you could witness a boob explosion if you stare too long. So, now I am on antibiotics for my bronchitis but also Bactrim for infection. And if it doesn’t show signs of improvement by Wednesday then she will schedule me to see infectious disease doctor while I’m there. Again, this seems like an out of body experience … The growing boob and an infectious disease doctor? Is she talking about me?
So, among all the other ways you pray for us, you can pray that the medicine works. And it would also be great if it is an infection that is accelerating the swelling (instead of the cancer) because I am beginning to be concerned that if chemo doesn’t work the pressure and swelling could be a real mess and real painful. It can even start to come through and tear the skin. That sounds even worse than the explosion possibility!
But, in some weird way, when you face hard news and don’t have answers, one of the blessings is that you lean long and hard into the people you love and have a sweet and fun and precious sense of making every day count towards loving the Lord and loving others! So, though it will make for a crazy week, when one of your best friends and college roommates, Melanie Marino Shankle, writes her 3rd book and, hopefully, yet another NYT bestseller, you want to go! With thanks to Christina who moved my chemo appointment, I hope to have early bird labs at 730 on Wednesday and then chemo at 745 (though the 3rd floor infusion area seems to be on mountain time and always an hour wait…) and then Jamie and I will head south to San Antonio for the book release festivities! [And clearly with all of that we don’t have time for an appointment with the infectious disease doctor!] And back bright and early on Thursday because there is also a Dallas book signing this time! Who wants to come meet my people?! I would love it! It’s 630 at Barnes&Noble across from Northpark on TH, 4.9.
Her third book is a memoir on friendship. And it’s greatness! Yes I am biased but you’ll agree. And I am certainly one who is pretty fired up on the topic of friendship these days. I’ve learned a ton through her. And through you! She has just known me through a lot more years, boyfriends, shenanigans and bad 90s hair. Case in point: http://thebigmamablog.com/18268/bad-perms-and-good-friends/.
Thanks for prayers and love and notes and gift cards and meals and flowers and countless other ways your friendship has blessed us!💗