Well I'm home, and that was no easy feat! We set out Monday morning to hit 2 doctors appointments, finalize the apartment choice and jump on the plane home. I wish it would have been that easy and relaxed! Instead it was a mad dash from one thing to the next without a second to breathe or eat for that matter and then crawling into my own bed at 4:00 am!
It all started with an appointment that ran long! Which in turn, bled over into the next appointment slot. Usually that's ok at MD Anderson, except for this time of course. By the time I got out of the exam room Aunt Deb was cussing at people and my mom was on the verge of tears. I didn't know what I walked out into! Turns out since the appointment ran over, the next one I had scheduled got canceled. Unfortunately that was the MOST important appointment! It was the CT simulation that lays the ground work for the radiation that is set to begin Monday the 17th. No simulation, no radiation. They assured us that they could get us in the next day....too bad we had purchased plane tickets for that afternoon! Not to mention, the we had checked out of the hotel and the rental car was due in at 4:00 pm. We spent the next hour stressing and making calls to try to fix the situation in the comfort of starbucks! By the grace of god, Dr. Wonderful called (I think he was afraid of Aunt Deb) and told us they could squeeze me in at 3:00 that afternoon for the simulation after all. I still wonder how many legs she had to break to get that arranged! Oh well, I still said "Score!" I guess I should also say that yes, we took the appointment but we still weren't fully convinced we'd make it to the airport in time, but we were going to try. This will be important later in my dramatic retell of the events of March 10, 2014!
After that we headed out to tour 2 apartments and I got a call from the hospital asking me to come in for blood work and a chemo training, I looked at the clock and saw that I had 2 hours until the CT simulation so I said sure. The small detail I forgot at the time was that, although we leaped an hour forward with daylight savings.....the clock I was looking at didn't! Welcome back sick feeling in my stomach! Luckily we caught on to the error in my thinking pretty quickly and hightailed it out of the apartment tours and over to the hospital. The stars aligned and they took me right in for chemo training. I listened like a good girl, I held my jokes and questions and kept my eye on the clock. Who would have thought that I could shave 15 minutes off an appointment by just keeping my mouth shut!!! Ha! After the trainer walked out to get paperwork I left my mom and aunt deb there to collect it and I ran down for blood work. Again, the stars aligned and I went straight it. Bing, bang, boom...blood drawn and still 10 minutes to spare to get to the CT simulation! I was on fire. Apparently all departments at MD Anderson move with lightening speed, except the one I was in for that first appointment early in the day!
The simulation was painless! They basically make quick mold of your body so that you will be in the same position for each treatment. Next they do a scan so they can target the areas that they will hit with the treatments. During this time they also mark them on my body so I am currently walking around with these crazy purple marks on my chest that have to stay on for the next seven weeks. Don't ask! I don't know how I'll wash around them in shower either. I guess we'll see! I have a feeling they're going to have to reapply frequently!
After we flew out of the radiation department, we jumped into the car can took off to the airport. We were cutting it dangerously close! We thought we were finally safe when we checked in and got boarding passes right before the window closed. We even contemplated doing a big dramatic high five. Thank goodness we didn't! As we rounded the corner we saw that the security check point line was about 50 deep! It might be worth saying that before my CT simulation I took an ativan so even though my story sounds as though I was breathless and worried......I was cool as a cucumber! There wasn't much that was going to worry me for the next couple of hours! My mom on the other hand was frantic (I'm kinda tapping into her point of view to tell a good story!) She bit her finger nails down to nubs by the time we reached the end of the line, unfortunately that was also when the overhead speaker announced that our flight was on it's final boarding call and they'd be closing the aircraft door in 5 minutes. Me: still cool as a cucumber......my mom: pretty much crying at this point! We finished with security and literally ran to the gate, my mom didn't even take the time to put her shoes back on. When I say we made it by the skin of our teeth.....we made it by the skin of our teeth! They were shutting the gate as we skidded to a stop in front of gate A19. They waved us in and we could finally breathe!
The rest of the flight to Charlotte was pretty uneventful, except some weird noises that, had I not been on ativan I would have been worried about, but..............cool as a cucumber. We landed and the pilot came on to say that the passengers who were supposed to stay on the plane to continue on to New York after we got off, would also have to gather their belongings and deplane due to an "unscheduled aircraft change". I took that as, "something's going on with this plane, it won't make it to New York, we have to get a new one", but I could have been wrong though. That nervousness I started to feel is the hint that my ativan is wearing off. :)
We grabbed a bite to eat and got on to our connecting flight with plenty of time to spare. We took off on schedule and I even started to drift off to sleep until about 10 minutes into the flight when I heard a continuous "beep, beep, beep" alarm sound. At first I figured it would stop, but when it didn't I started to worry (ativan gone from my system, clearly) Everyone was starting to take notice and you could tell they too were nervous. The pilot came on the speaker to bring us up to speed, "this is the flight deck here, some of you in the front of the plane may have heard the loud bang, we hit a bird and will be turning around and going back to Charlotte to assess the damage to the aircraft." Ummmmmmmmmmmm, what?
When we finally landed back in Charlotte I was able to breathe again. After assessing the plane they decided that it was not safe to fly due to the damage to the windshield and thank goodness we weren't going just a little faster because it would have gone through the windshield completely if we had been! That last part about it going through the glass was only overheard when the pilot was talking to someone else, it wasn't a general announcement!Either way......ahhhhhhhh! They were able to bring a different plane around for us to take instead. After boarding the new plane we sat in there for over an hour while they got it ready to go. After the events of the day that hour was not good for my mind! I tried to convince my mom and aunt deb that we should probably forget the plane and just rent a car for the rest of the trip. After all, how many times during the day did the universe tell us we shouldn't have flown that night....go back and reread the story you'll see how clear it should have been to us!
They wouldn't budge on the whole flying thing so we stayed and finally took off a little after 1 am. I rested with one eye open on that flight! Luckily, we landed safely at around 3 am in West Palm. By the time I walked in my door I could barely keep my eyes open. I hugged my husband and peeked in on my sleeping kids with a smile on my exhausted face. Jude woke a little and gave me the biggest hug ever, wrapping his arms around my neck and saying how much he missed me and loved me. I fell asleep with those little arms around me and the smile still on my face. It was all worth it. The stress, frustration, the breathless rushing, the near death by birding, and the panic....I'm home! I get to go to sleep with my family every night for the next week and wake up to them in the morning. Heaven!
-the constant rushing today
-ativan- kept me calm for some parts of this crazy day
-we picked the apartment (I forgot to mention that in the craziness of the story!)
-I'm home with my family!
-that moment when Jude woke a little to hug me and tell me how much he missed me and loved me and then fell asleep cuddled up to me: priceless!