That’s a shit ton of days, weeks, months and years. Actually, it is 10 years and 10 days to be exact. A lot has happened and setting aside some crappy stuff like the economy that tanked, job loss and financial strains, over-all it was pretty damn spectacular.
Tuesday felt different, like a cosmic freaky “got the feels” kind of way. I do believe you just know.
We had a family meeting last night.
It started off with a bang when Paul announced I was pregnant.
I am not pregnant.
It took a while to convince the kids that this was a bullshit diversion of epic proportion, yet I suppose, as always, Paul is perfect with timing and appropriately set them up for what was about to come.
The Piece of Shit is back.
I didn’t tell them like that, I am a better mother than you may think despite my affinity for four letter words. We do open, honest and transparent in our house. No secrets and no shame. It is hard to talk about real life and it is hard to talk about cancer… but we are facing this as a family and we will support each other through it.
My MRI on Tuesday (3662 days since my first surgery) was awesome. It was a collection of all my favorite human beings. Bromley, my MRI nurse; Stephanie, my former Neurosurgical PA, Emory Radiology staff friends and of course my dear friend Sara who drove me and kept me company. We laughed, I showed off my bad ass melanoma scar, we caught up on life, made promises to do better about making lunch and dinner plans, hugged a lot and laughed A LOT.
Yet, I knew. A faint blanket of peace had fallen over me and I could feel it, I could sense the change and I knew what it was. Oddly, I had no fear, there was no panic, it was a sense of peace an acceptance for the reality I knew and understood.
I could see the change in my scan when I loaded it on my computer Wednesday before I sent it overnight to my surgeon in NYC. You notice things after 10 years of looking at stable scans, especially when you are a photographer.
The Piece of Shit has grown 20-30% since my scan in December. So, the Piece of Shit needs to be removed.
I will be flying to NYC Wednesday and have a clinic visit with my surgeon & friend Costas Hadjipanayis at Mt. Sinai on Thursday, September 6. Surgery is currently scheduled for Friday, September 14. I will be staying in NYC for the duration until I am released to fly back to Atlanta.
As much as I loath and hate radiation, that will be the plan of attack after surgery as well as oral chemotherapy (Temodar). While we pray that the Piece of Shit is still a Grade 2, we are expecting it to be a Grade 3.
Our family will need support and we are asking for it. For the boys, 15 & 13 is a different ball game than 5 & 3 and their needs and their process through this again will be different. Then there is Harper. At 7, this is her first rodeo with my cancer treatment. She’s simply devastated that I will be away for that long and already misses me. Paul. My sweet, hysterical, stubborn, brilliant and strong Paul is devastated and broken in his own deep way, yet remains our rock. I am good. I am emotional, but I am stable and most importantly, I am grounded. I feel confident in my medical team and am deeply grateful for the friends who will be hosting me in NY/NJ when I am gone and recovering. It takes a village and we are blessed beyond measure with ours.
I will update along the way and in the meantime, we ask that you give us a few days to process, work on logistics and establish our plan for the next few months.
For those local friends, we are having a party on Sunday at 4. Bring a side dish, a sense of humor and some alcohol. Life, my friends, needs to be celebrated.