I go to Dallas on Monday. I'll be staying with a Navy buddy and his wife and then getting to my appointment on Tuesday. Then home on Wednesday. Hoping to meet up with a few more Navy Buds and other friends from Texas. Admittedly- I'm freaked out. There are 5 trials I'm elegible for- including the vaccine- but I have to have a prescheduled surgery. (And it has to be done in Dallas) Here's my brilliant idea.... since I still have cancer in my abdomen- and I know there is some on my ovaries that wasn't removed- I'll have a hysterectomy (that I wanted anyway) and they can get what they need then. They have to have 'fresh' cancer specimen to make the vaccine.
Sometimes I even scare myself.
But really- I want the vaccine. I will do the chemo clinical trials if that's all I CAN do, but I'm not cracked up about doing it. I LOATHE chemo. Here's a little insight for those of you who've never had chemo: God forbid you EVER have to do it... But I understand why an older person, who's lived a full life, would choose not to do chemo. I didn't before. "Why wouldn't you fight?" I thought. There is no description for how awful chemotherapy is. I honestly tear up at the mere idea of chemo. And I think if I didn't have 2 little girls that need their Mommy, that I might not do the chemo either. See- I'm not as strong as you people think I am. But thanks anyway.
So- please cross your fingers, pray, wish, whatever it is you do- that I can part-take in the vaccine.
In the meantime, I will enjoy this Thanksgiving. I have a lot to be thankful for. Last night, as I was reading bedtime stories to little Vera, it hit me that I was enjoying reading to her. Not pushing to make a memory, not stressed that these moments are precious and I might not have many of them. I was genuinely happy, content. After books, she wanted me to sing (or 'ning' as she says) She snuggled with me, she laid her head on my chest and didn't squirm, didn't try to get away. She was still awake- I could feel her pretty little eyelashes brush my skin every time she blinked. I was happy. Though I can be happy- it was like a free happy- like the kind I had before diagnosis. I am thankful that Iris is growing into a compassionate little girl with a heart the size of an ocean.
I am thankful that I am still here. So much can go wrong. I'm lucky to have had 5 surgeries in the last year and a half and I'm still here. Still able to function, I'm not down and out.
I credit my family and friends for that. I have shit days- but I am reminded that I am loved by the wonderful things my friends and family do and say. I don't think I could ask for more than that. Hell, my friend Karen is flying in from Missouri to spend Thanksgiving with me. My friend Jenny is at the grocery store- right now, in the cold- doing a bake sale to raise money for Christmas presents for my family. That's just the tip of the iceberg, things that are going on right now. There's been such an outpouring of generousity and care (online friends/readers included) that I don't even know where to start except to say thanks to everyone as a whole. I mean it.
So, tomorrow's holiday means a lot to me.
Thank you all.