Our first full day in hospital is behind us. Though there still so many unknowns, it is good to finally be moving.
A word about Banner Health, that their staff and level of care has left us feeling cared for in a way that is surprising. People genuinely seem to like helping us through these first steps and are sharing time and information beyond our initial expectations. We are reminded that we are not a number, or a statistic, and this isn't meant to sound cliché. As we leave Banner Payson and Banner Desert behind for weightier times at MD Anderson today, we know that we have a network of care, and won't mind seeing the people at Banner again.
Melisa was dreading today, because it ends with a port placement that somehow solidifies what has felt in many ways like an illusion. Still in the back of our minds is the question, "Is this really happening to 'us'..?" The port is a physical manifestation of a process that we know we cannot stop, is very real, and is the only path to success. And so we take each step.
The port was also scary because when Melisa's Mother got a port it was external. She was older, had been through two heart replacements, and had nearly no excess body fat/water when she was diagnosed with cancer. Melisa remembers that port and her Mom's complaints of it catching on everything, irritation of the skin, etc. Again, it was a physical manifestation of a negative process and Melisa has set her mind against it. As the Banner NP explained how the newer subdermal port would work, there was a level of relief. We experienced a short positive moment and added it to the collection of bright spots we carry with us.
A Day of Planning
We're sitting in MD Anderson now, with our Tempest test draw and labs complete, waiting for a discussion on treatment paths, schedules, and trial qualifications. These conversations will suggest Melisa's courses of treatment and short term schedule as we watch for hard and soft results. We'll report back.
I'll leave you with two pictures from day one. The first, a photo Melisa asked me to take for the kids/blog before she went in for the port placement. The second is the "After" photo, which I told her must follow the "Before" lest we tilt the Universe.
Happy smiles, bright blessings, hugs and thank yous for the amazing show of support on the GoFundMe. And a special thanks to Christine Lane for helping our family get going on the GoFundMe responses, etc. Her organizational skills (we all know) are unmatched, and we are lucky and grateful to have her help.