Thursday, July 23, 2009
Can you believe it is the end of July already? This year has just been flying by. Let me remind you how my year has gone. On New Year's Eve, I had my first chemo treatment. While the rest of the world was celebrating the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009, I was laying in a recliner trying to deal with the fact that I was about to begin a very long and very emotional trip down the path of cancer. Every time I cried, every tear I shed, was always more about the familiar road I was on, than the actual fact that I had cancer. The terminology used, the drugs used, the type of doctors, the infusion room, having a port installed, etc. All of it was way too familiar and way too painful to remember. And to top it off, I could not share it with my mom, because it was worse for her! It brought back way too many oh so painful memories. Here she was trying to put that behind her, and BAM! It was here again, only this time, in me. No, I didn't ask her to ever go with me to the hospital, or doctor appointments, or even let her know when I was going. I didn't want her to worry, or even think about me at all in terms of cancer. When I finally did tell her, she went into a tail spin and cried for several days. She didn't get dressed or put on make-up at all. She just cried, sobbed, for days. Her sweet neighbor went over to try and console her and reassure her that I was going to be alright, that Breast Cancer was NOT Leukemia, and that Deb was going to be ok. None of that seemed to work. As soon as I was able to get up off my bed, talk with a clear strong voice, I drove up to my mom's and sat in the recliner with her and watched TV with her. That was all it took for her to realize I was not "dying" with Breast Cancer. Still to this day, we do not talk about it much, unless she brings it up. But occasionally, on her good days, she does ask me about it, how it's going, where I am in my treatment plan, what I have left to do, etc. She even watched my younger girls while I was in the hospital getting my mastectomy! Although, I have been told that she told some people that I was "getting some female procedure done". But, on her good days, we laugh about it, and she tells me how I can just "get a padded bra". When she asks, I will share. I don't bring it up. But yes, I have told her all the good news as well. I told her when they could no longer feel the lumps by physical examination. I told her that after the mastectomy, they got clear margins, and found no evidence of cancer in my lymph nodes. She just said, "did you tell them they were just earthly physicians and you know the Great Physician?" I laughed and told her, "yes I did mom! I told you all along, this was not Leukemia, and that I would dance at my Grandson's wedding!" We have not taken a road trip in a while, and I noticed that mom was getting restless, and her hair was getting long, and her perm was all but gone. So, yep, I called her friend in Memphis and said, you up for company? She said, "Ya'll come!!" I said, you know the drill! You have to call my momma and invite her, then I will drive her down there! She laughed and said, I'll call you back! About an hour later, she called and said, I talked to your momma, she was in the swing eating her ice cream, and said she didn't have anything to write with to remind herself to tell Deb, so she gave me permission to call her chauffeur. We planned the trip for the next Tuesday and Wednesday. We were cutting mom's grass on Friday, and we talked about the trip. I called her Saturday morning, Saturday night, Sunday morning, Sunday night, Monday morning and Monday night. Every time, we discussed the plans for the trip to Memphis. Monday was my husband's birthday, so I decided not to drive up there and spend the night with her on Monday night. The plans were, I would be at her house on Tuesday morning at 9am. I got up on Tuesday morning, put some things in a bag, put the bag in my car, and headed towards mom's about 7am. As I rounded the curve, on my gravel road, I noticed a car coming towards me, which, on my road, at 7am is uncommon! As it got closer, I noticed it was a really nice car. As it got closer, I noticed it was a Cadillac. As it got closer, I noticed it was MOMMA!!! I stopped, and momma rolled down her window. I said, "Woman! What are you doing here?" She said, what was the plan? I said, I was supposed to meet you at your house! She said, oh well, I am here. So, she drove on to the house, and I turned around and went back to the house. I got my bags out of my car, put them in hers, and down the driveway we went. We stopped in Cape, went to Sam's, mom got some bananas and I got me a belated birthday present. We didn't have any money to spare in May, so I waited. I got me one of those GPS thingys! It's a cheap one, but it does the trick! I had forgotten to print out the directions to Janice's, and I didn't want to rely on my memory. Although, I must say, I could have done it! All the way down there, I was way ahead of the "voice from the box" on my turns, exits, and what have you. When we got to Janice's, her daughter Johnna was there and it was so good to get to see her and visit with her, while momma was getting her hair cut and permed. Janice is a beautician, and she has her shop in a little room off of her garage. After the cut and perm, we went into the house, and Janice had supper in the oven. Her husband, John Earl, was not home, so it was just us girls. We watched some of daddy's DVD's that I had in my laptop bag! We got some good preaching and teaching from the best preacher teacher I have ever heard in my life! That's just my opinion of course, but I have heard my fair share of preachers in my lifetime! I feel I can make an adequate assessment! I enjoyed seeing that tall skinny man, that healthy man, preach with energy! Momma enjoyed pointing out all the people in the choir, all the people in the pews, how the church was packed! How the choir was full and they were wearing choir robes!! Janice was making comments about how everything we were hearing was so very relevant today. We listened to a sermon on unity in the church! We listened to a sermon on being a "real" Christian not a Carnal Christian. We listened to a sermon on being a serious Christian, a set apart Christian, a sober Christian. Yes, three points and a closing!! Good stuff, I don't mind telling you. That man, Dr. Richard Adams, can preach!! I miss him soooooo much. Anyway, I digress.... We sat up and talked, laughed, cried, had a wonderful time. We discussed many serious issues and problems in the world today, LOL, and did our best to solve them! I don't even remember what time we finally went to bed. I do, however, know that I heard Janice laugh downstairs around 6:45 am!! I got up, got dressed, and checked momma's room, and yep, she was gone, and the bed was made. I went downstairs, and joined them two ladies on Janice's back porch, where we drank coffee and laughed and told stories some more. Such sweet memories I will forever treasure. Seeing my momma laugh so much is a priceless memory I am so grateful and blessed to share. After we ate our breakfast, we got our bags loaded in the car around 8:30. As we were standing there saying our goodbyes, Janice noticed momma's license plates were expired!! "Debra Faye! Are your momma's plates expired?" I looked at them, and sure enough, there were the stickers that said APR 09. Bejeebers!! Are you kidding me? Her plates have been expired since April? Clearly, I was not on top of my game in April! Every month, I help momma do her bills, and yes, we have kept up with them all, and kept them all current. But, I don't remember seeing the reminder card come in the mail, and to tell you the truth, didn't look for it. When I would come to her house, I just look for all the "normal" bills, like electric, phone, water, and satellite. I did not look for the reminder post card to renew her plates! So, after having a good laugh about how many places that car has been since April, on expired plates, we said our goodbyes, and momma and I were rolling up the road towards home. About Cape, I called Sapaugh's and made an appointment to get her car inspected and emissions tested. According to my GPS, we were going to be in Herky by 2pm. I convinced momma that it would only take 20 minutes or so, and needed to go ahead and get it done while I was there. Then I could take the paper work, along with her personal property tax receipt and insurance card, and didn't need her car to get her license plates renewed. I could do that for her, and bring her stickers back on Friday, when we come to mow her grass. Yea, well, that was my plan. Her car didn't pass inspection, due to ball joints had some play in them, and yes, warranty covered it, and they went ahead and replaced them. Two and a half hours later, we were leaving Sapaugh's with the needed paperwork. To say momma was "fit to be tied", is putting it mildly. She went to that window more than once and questioned them about what they were doing to her car. Once she even said, "if you have not started on it, bring it around, I am ready to leave!" I mean, you gotta remember, we had been in the car all day, we had left Memphis, or actually Collierville, at 9 o'clock that morning! It was 4:30 when we finally pulled into mom's garage! Keith was waiting for me, and because it was so late, I didn't go inside to find the personal property tax receipt, or insurance card, or do anything I had planned to do when we returned. I had also planned to take her to State Farm, because her Home Owner's insurance is due, and actually slightly late. We are still in the grace period, it has not cancelled yet!! Momma had said, she would take care of it, and did not want to do it, when we were writing out all the other bills, she still had time. So, I let it slide. That is what we are going to do tomorrow! Tomorrow will be a full day. We will mow her grass, re-fill her bird feeders, renew her license plates, and renew her home owner's insurance. Anyway, today, that is the plan. We will see in the morning. I do have my sister's family here from Chicago. Bryan and six of the kiddos came in last nite. Lois did not come. Lois has not been here at all this year. She works full time as a church secretary, for the church that has a Christian school. It is the school where her kids attend, and because she works there, it allows them a significant discount on the fees to attend there. They just got back from family vacation to California for two weeks, and she is about to take off more days to take her daughter Sarah Bean to California to get her settled into college. But, Bryan is able to work from home, so to speak, so he brought the kids to the farm to play and visit with their cousins, before school and all its activities get started back up in full swing. The kiddos are sooooo excited to be together. They came down this morning, for breakfast, and it wasn't long after that, they were asking if they could go swimming! It was 9 o'clock in the morning! LOL! I don't care!! So, I figure they will all sleep soundly tonight! I did have an appointment today, with the Mastectomy Specialist in Farmington. She took the appropriate measurements, and fitted me with one bra and one prosthesis to bring home today, and ordered another 2 that will be in next week. That was an experience. It wasn't as emotional as I thought it would be. I guess, I am getting used to the fact that I can't have modesty anymore. Everyone and their "sister" has looked at me, poked around on me, measured me, etc. I will be so glad when I have my life back. On the up side, though, we are down to six weeks until we leave for Florida!! Today, is the day the Tumor Board is meeting to discuss my case, and whether or not they will recommend radiation. Karen, the Nurse Coordinator for my Oncologist, called today to reconfirm my appointment schedule for August and September, and said she would call me tomorrow, as soon as she knows something. I will let everyone know, as soon as I know! I hope I don't have to throw a temper tantrum, but I have told them, if you recommend radiation, fine, I will be there with bells on.........in October! But please, give me September, give me Florida, give me Daytona Beach! I am praying hard. Hopefully, this will all work out. Momma is looking forward to Florida, and so am I. And after the year I have had.....I NEED FLORIDA!! Keith is grilling tonight, and the smell is about to get the best of me, so I need to get off of here and eat!! Pray hard folks, that I am ok and content with whatever God's plan for me turns out to be. I know what I want it to be. God knows what I want it to be. But, God also knows, that what I really want, in my "heart of hearts" is whatever HE wants for me. I trust HIM. I know He loves me, and I know that HIS plan is the best plan. God's got this. Whatever, Lord, whatever. Let that be my prayer. Let that be your prayer!!