Friday, July 13, 2012

"Remember to breathe"

 I wake up at 8AM, anxious for this day to be over and yet it just started. I try not to "wish" my life away, but I can't help but feel that way today. I get ready for my Doctors appointment, (right now estrogen and progesterone are my friends...and those that live with me are glad..Ha Ha ) sneak a bowl of cereal (Zack has not been allowed to eat since last night) and go in to tell him what to wear for the test. He is grouchy, hungry and asked for more information about the procedure. I tell him the doctor says it is not as bad as the MRI and he did great there so there is nothing to worry about. I tell him they will put in an IV. He then gets mad and buries himself in his pillow. He mutters "I HATE HOSPITALS!!!".  My first instinct is to hold him and coddle him like I did when he was little, but I know I must be tough with myself and him. I tell him that I totally understand his feelings, but he must also realize that these people are here to save his life, and he must see the good in what is being done, not the bad. " We are having this scan to show that everything is gone". He mutters, and assures me he is just hungry and hates needles. I give him a hug and go to my appointment.

When I return to pick him up, he is dressed and ready to go. His mood is better and he is ready to get the scan over with... so he can eat... He says "you owe me MEAT!!!, I want to eat at the steak house in Biltmore",  we both laugh and I promise him linner (lunch and dinner) after the scan. On the way ( a 45 minute drive to Asheville from Brevard),we are joking about the "meat" comment.. I tease him about a nice juicy hamburger and he just laughs. I tell him I have to be my usual obnoxious self or he would think me an imposter. He spots one of his favorite stores, "they have the horn I need for my truck Mom" I again promise to stop at the store on the way back. Just for today, right or wrong, I would promise him the moon.

The PET scan started at 1 PM and ended at 3:45PM. It started (surprise) with paperwork. We find out right away that the results will not be ready until Monday. I ask if there is any way they can do it before, but the technician tells me he is NOT the one that reads the scan. I am resigned and accept, still hoping they will tell me after it is all done. After about 15 minutes a very nice man came to the waiting room and escorted Zack to the back room. Rhonda (my sister) had insisted on staying with me. I am known for being stubborn and I in turn insisted I didn't NEED company, but was glad she didn't listen to me, it helped pass the time and we did have a lot of catching up to do.

The Cancer Center is actually a beautiful new building. With tile floors, fancy comfortable chairs and glass top tables. There is a boutique with nothing but snacks and "cancer" related items. Bandanas, scarfs, "save the ta tas" t-shirts, "we can beat this" hats, anything else you can think of. All of a sudden it hits me, THIS is where we are right now, we are one of "them" . I guess when Mom had Kidney cancer, it happened so fast, the diagnosis, surgery and recovery without Chemo, that it never hit me like this.  As we sit talking, I see women, men and  small children with no hair returning to their cars after their treatments. Is this going to be us? Will we be the family that "others" are looking at with sad eyes? I don't want my son to be pitied, I don't want people to feel sorry for us. We need the Love and support we are so blessed to have. I talk to Rhonda about our future. I know this will not be forever, and yet I know that I have finally figured out where I can volunteer when this is all over. I have been looking for a place to volunteer some of my time to help others, I feel good about where this will lead me, I will not be afraid of this disease, I will be able to offer some type of help to others that will be going through the same experiences. But that.. is for later. Now my son and husband need me 100 percent. This is bringing back so many sad and scary memories for Frank who's mother survived Ovarian cancer only to have lost her battle with Leukemia in 2007.

Zack comes out of the scan all smiles. First thing out of his mouth is "FOOD" .... As we are walking to the car I ask for his experience. Zack tells me he was given an IV ( the guy missed his vein twice, so that part wasn't too pleasant, Zack already hates needles) with  a small amount of radioactive material (tracer). This tracer is given through a vein, usually on the inside of your elbow. It travels through your blood and collects in organs and tissues. The tracer helps the radiologist see certain areas or diseases more clearly. He said that he was given a massage chair, he LOVED that part, he said it was warm and he could set it to whatever settings he wanted. He had to sit for 60 minutes for the fluid to go where they needed to go. He was telling me how wonderful the massage chair was, he was sitting back and almost asleep when all of a sudden the man came in to take him in for the scan. He said is really wasn't as bad as he thought it would be, but was relieved when it was over.

We go out to eat, he flirts with the server as she keeps the wonderful rolls coming. We tell her he hasn't eaten since last night, so he is playing catch up. She offers him more rolls,  I tease and say " I think you just met your future wife", we all have a good laugh (she is probably 20 and too old Ha Ha) and he again thanks me for embarrassing him.  I remind him that's what I'm here for... We say goodby to "Tante", (Aunt in Flemish) and stop at his favorite store. He picks out the horn for his truck, I, of course, find a couple of "gadgets" for Frank and we head home to another surprise. Our dear friends Hans and his wife Andrea are there waiting to visit from Cary, NC. Zack gives his hugs and taking my car heads out to spend the night at his friends house.

All in all it's been a good day. The journey continues, we KNOW the results will be good on Monday, and Tuesday will move forward with the "plan" with the team of Doctors, whatever that will be.  The Love, Positive Energy, Prayers and Support are so amazing I go to bed feeling like we are surrounded by the most wonderful light. Thank you for our many blessings!!!

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