I’ll start tonight’s post with a disclaimer. My mind is racing in a million different directions easily so if this post is all over the place, apologies!
We had our doctors appointment with Dr. Small tonight, our radiation oncologist. We absolutely loved him, and not just because I found out he’s from St. Charles! His resident, Dr. H (I promise I will know her name after tomorrow!) was so amazing too, as is his nurse Andrea. They walked out of the room and Kevin and I both said at the same time how thankful we are that they’re on Team Beef, alongside Dr. Potkul. We were able to find some good laughs throughout the appointment too, which is always a plus. One was after Kevin asked a pretty pointed question about a potential treatment based off all the research he’s done. He stopped Dr. Small in his tracks as he said to Kevin, “you really have been reading a lot!” #starstudent
We now have our official game plan set to kick this cancers ass. Excuse my language, but sometimes you just have to let it fly, right? 😉 This is the part that makes my mind race in a million directions. So many emotions. Fortunately (for now at least) my upcoming days are going to be so busy, I won’t have time to think about anything. Are you ready for this?
Tomorrow: Radiation imaging which will take about 3 hours. Drinking barium is totally the new red wine pairing for Thanksging turkey, right? This will basically get the doctors the images they need to pinpoint exactly where they’ll be targeting the radiation. I’m going to get a sweet dot tattoo out of it, just like Phoebe from Friends.
Monday: Close on our new home – insanity but we are so excited to get in there. A fresh start. I don’t think I even know how badly we need that right now.
Tuesday: Movers move us into our new home- for the skeptics out there, I promise I didn’t plan the timing of all this. There are a lot easier, less painful ways to get out of helping!!
Wednesday: Chemo class & labs
Thursday: Having the port inserted – I’m told it’s a mini surgery, outpatient. No part of me wants anything to do with another surgery right now but the bruises on my arms and wrists that I still have from the needle misses tell me it’s a must. Ugh.
And then on Monday the 5th, chemo & radiation starts.
A round of chemo is delivered on a 21 day cycle. The first three days each are chemo, then 18 days rest. Each chemo session is 7 hours long. 7 hours?! Seriously, what do you do for 7 hours?! Radiation is 6 weeks long, Monday-Friday. Radiation all in lasts about a half hour, but the radiation piece itself is only 5-10 minutes of that. On days where chemo and radiation both happen, chemo happens first.
The other day, one of my AMs sent me a quote that was on my mind in a big way as we were going through all of these details. “Option A isn’t available, so let’s kick the shit out of Option B.” I could sit and write or talk to you for hours about how broken my heart is over our Option A. Option A, our little Hallie! So. Many. Tears. I will spend my entire life wondering what Hallie would’ve become and how she would’ve changed the world, our world & the actual world. We have a long way to go in grieving for our Option A, it’s going to take a long time, I’m convinced a life time. I do have a huge battle ahead of me though. And while I’ve already conquered step one with the surgery & it was a success in that the cancer hadn’t spread, the next parts of the battle are going to be ruthless physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. While this game plan was materializing today, I kept thinking of that quote. I can fight it and I can hate it but this is now our Option B. And while this chemo & radiation will do things physically to me that I can’t control, I know that my attitude will impact how I endure this battle emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Enter all of you too, our army of support. It’s time we kick the sh*t out of Option B. While I can’t promise to be brave or strong in every moment, I will do everything I can to kick the sh*t out of Option B so that we can be over this nightmare & can finally focus on finding those kids out there that God has already marked for us to be their parents. The first thing they’ll know about is the hero that their big sister Hallie is.
Before any of this though, we get the chance to escape this life for a few days and spend Thanksgiving in Galena with my family. Galena is a place so special to my fam, we grew up going there every Thanksgiving. It’s the most beautiful place! Yelp Happy Joes. Well, don’t actually but I do promise their taco pizza is legendary. And the game room! No Conrad is ever too old to dominate the arcade just to earn enough tickets to buy poppers or army men with parachutes. I may be on the sidelines in the arcade this year, but I am great at feeding the tickets into the counter. #roleplayer I cannot wait to get up there tomorrow after this appointment. I plan on spending the entire time in my PJs, in front of the fire, eating lots, enjoying the company of my family and ultimately figuring out a way to still grieve for Hallie but to also start channeling all these emotions into kicking the sh*t out of Option B. No other option!