The summer held such great promise. I had great plans for the summer, lots of time with my girls, teaching them all kinds of nerdy things against their wishes, bonfires and s’mores, homemade chocolate chip ice cream, homemade ice cream sandwiches, sunshine and so much more. School ended and all I could think about was the smell of freshly-cut grass, kids splashing in the pool, and our trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in August.
Do you ever feel like you’re riding a rollercoaster wearing a straightjacket? Yeah.
That weekend I learned about a new tumor to battle, my oncologist gave us marching orders for MD Anderson and we began our cross-country journey to Texas….where I’ve been….all summer. I haven’t been back and I don’t know when I’m going back. I’m not complaining. Other than battling cancer, rehabilitating from back surgery and enduring more complications, I feel like I’ve been on vacation all summer long. Texas is beautiful, the weather is amazing and spending time with friends is fun and therapeutic. LOL
There’s just one, itty, bitty, teensy, weensy, little problem, well three problems – my sweet hubs and darling daughters are in Michigan.
When it became clear that I wouldn’t make it home before school began, Jenny, Fred and I made plans for one more trip down to Texas so I could spend some time with the girls. Fred took time off from work so he and the girls could spend some good, quality time snuggling with me. Our plan was, a girl on either side of me, movies, popcorn and just being with each other. Five whole days of nothing but being attached to each other. Evenings were reserved for Mister McGill.
This is the perfect example of how your Go Fund Me dollars have helped us. (Sniff, sniff! Thank you so much!). Without these donations, there is absolutely no way we could have afforded three round-trip plane tickets from Michigan to Texas. No way. This mommy needed her kids so much and you made that happen -from the bottom of my heart, I thank you.
So plans were made and the countdown to the visit began!
A few days before my sweeties were to arrive, Jenny and I toodled down to MD Anderson for my regularly scheduled chemo visit. I had just enough time to receive chemo for a few days, “recover” for a few days, and welcome my loving family. Ah, the best laid plans. While waiting for a room to open up, Jenny and I decided to wait at home. When we arrived back at her house, I felt pretty chilled. I kept adding clothing, a piece at a time. First, a sweatshirt, then socks, then long pants. Even though I was fine during my preadmittance appointment and my blood draw numbers were strong, somehow I developed a fever.
I tried to grasp at faith and positivity, that I would still have plenty of time to be with Fred and the girls. Of course, it took awhile for all the docs to figure out where the fever was coming from. Finally, I was diagnosed with pneumonia. So I spent August 1- 6 in the hospital and my family was visiting August 2 – 9.
Two days. I had two full days to be with them. “That’s ok,” I said. “We will make the most of them”, I said! We will stay up late and we will take advantage of each minute. And we did on that Thursday. Friday morning I had two appointments, one at 7am and one at 9am. No problem! The girls went shopping with Jenny, a few hours of appointments and then back to Jenny’s for more snuggle time.
7 am – blood draw
Infusion Center – to unclot one of my PICC lines. What we didn’t know was it takes some human intervention to check us in at different locations, and we were all over the place
10 am – informed of the need for a blood transfusion, that it would take a few hours. Again, I’m thinking, that’s ok, still plenty of time to snuggle.
10:15 – back to Infusion Center to unclot my picc line
10:30 – up to Ambulatory Treatment Center to check in, grab a beeper and learn our appointment time. Tears. Our appointment time is 330pm…time with my baby girls dwindling.
11 am – need some food. down to the cafeteria.
12- 3 pm – wasted time, found a sunny window, watched some people and watched the construction crane.
3pm – back to ATC, get comfy in waiting room. Immediately called back to begin transfusion.
Told two bags were needed, each would take 1-3 hours and there went any shred of hope I had to spend time with my girls. At least i had time with Fred. When we finally got back to Jenny’s, it was 10pm. One hour of snuggling amidst a ton of tears from the girls. Heartbreaking.
Fred and the girls needed to leave for the airport by 5:15am. The girls were already tired and stressed and definitely needed a few hours of sleep. This trip was planned around chemo and taking into account a few extra days in the hospital…I had one full day with the girls, which I cherish. I know, I know – I’m getting healthy so I can always be with the girls and Fred. I just hope, wish and pray that day would come sooner.
My beautiful family