Moving forward

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After hiding for so long in my cocoon of denial, we are moving forward with some good progress on several fronts.

On Monday, I had my one stitch out from my lung resection (WAY different than the billion staples from my neck dissection!), and everything looked good. I also met with a doctor who does “complementary and integrative medicine” to talk about all the different things I can do to support my immune system, since melanoma can be targeted by the immune system (most of the really effective treatments utilize the immune system in some way). I will meet with a nutritionist later to discuss specific dietary recommendations and recipes, but I got some really good info in the meantime. I mainly want to feel like I am doing absolutely everything to fight this bastard. If it comes back again, I don’t want to think, “What if I had eaten better? What if I had exercised more?” These are good things to do anyway, and I’m really hoping that this might help to change our family’s eating habits and provide a really good role model for Emmie as she grows up.

We also now have an appointment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering in NYC. As a family, MSK just felt right in our gut (MD Anderson was the other option, and would have also been excellent, according to everyone). However, crazy coincidences keep happening, and as my dad keeps saying, “There are no accidents.” Like the fact that the song “A-Punk” by Vampire Weekend came on while we were at lunch, which has the lyric “In the young man’s wing at Sloan Kettering.” I had already been thinking about that song, since seriously, how many pop music lyrics contain a reference to a cancer hospital? Plus, I love that song and it makes me think of the greatest concert I’ve ever been to when we saw Vampire Weekend at Red Rocks (and I think I was pregnant at the time?). And then if just came on while we were at lunch after seeing my doc! Crazy! The other super weird coincidence happened the other day when we called MSK to start the process. My dad started giving my address to the really nice man who was the scheduler, when the guys said “I went to XXX Elementary School,” naming the school 3 blocks down the road that Emmie will go to in a few years! What are the odds that someone would be from our little ‘burb in Colorado, working out in NYC!?!

Add to those some other coincidences, like the fact that my parents will already be in that area for a pre-planned vacation, so they will be able to come down to NYC for a few days to watch Emmie while we go to the appointment (we are going to make a mini-”vacation” out of it, because we are here to make memories, dammit! Plus, it will be nice to have a little bit of fun/nice things to balance out the real reason we are there). Also, my dear friend’s best friend happens to be a nurse there AND we have another friend who had some life-saving treatment there a few years ago. So yeah. Lots of signs pointing us in that direction.

My own overall health and physical stamina improves daily. I have almost no pain anymore, and I haven’t been on any pain medication, even ibuprofen, for many days now. I have still been taking a small nap most days, but I think that I could probably get away without that if necessary (like, when I am at work next week?). I’m going to see my primary care physician to try to do something about my asthma, which has definitely been worse since the surgery. Not sure if cutting a chunk out of your lung is an asthma trigger, but it makes sense! My asthma honestly has been my biggest issue lately, and I think the attacks throughout the day are contributing to my fatigue level, so hopefully if I get those under control, the fatigue will be even better.

Emmie has been oh-so-very three lately. Her latest is extreme and dramatic mood swings that would put the greatest teen drama queens to shame. She also is becoming quite skilled at emotional blackmail. A common refrain in the house these days is hearing her wail “You’re just making me SO SAD!” as she sobs through very real tears streaming down her face, while she lies on the floor, usually in reaction to someone refusing to move from the place they have been sitting for the past 10 minutes because she suddenly decided she HAD to sit in that very spot. At the same time, she can be so delightful and sweet and too darn smart for her own good. She is constantly playing doctor with the doctor kit her Oma and Opa got her for her birthday and nary a day goes by without some baby being “vewy vewy sick with a weally weally bad cold.” Or, for those times when a baby has an owie that’s “bleeding weally a lot,” a preferred treatment is to “snap baby’s thumb off” or to to cut off their cheek. When this young Dr. Frankenstein was informed that those might be rather… barbaric treatments, Emmie looked at me, considering, and slowly said, “Well, sometimes a doctoh just hasta… just hasta snap off a tumb if dey want to.” So, then. Hopefully if Emmie does achieve her dream of being a doctor (and a firefighter and a policeman and a tree climber and a mama), she might learn a little about medical ethics before treating any actual patients. In the meantime, I will keep holding her babies as she treats them for bird pecks, broken legs and all manner of gothic ailments.