Last weekend was awesome. The 'Fearless Fundo' was a great time. A lot of money was raised for Amy's treatment, and our stay in Houston. Again, it's difficult to express the thanks other than simply writing 'Thank You' at this time. TRSTriathlon as well as Slowtwitch provided a bit of post-ride coverage.
From Friday - Thursday we have been non-stop. So, my normal mid-week blog gets pushed a day or two.
Undoubtedly, some posts will be more difficult to write or read than others. I've had this one in mind for a bit. Again, I sit down and write a post in one-go. At times going back to make corrections if needed after posted. Someone told me a couple of weeks ago that my updates can bring tears. That's fine, this shit sucks, and there's not an easy way. A really good friend of mine, who lost his brother to a very aggressive cancer, told me to let the tears flow. Another good friend of mine said don't cry lying on your back because your ears will fill up.
We spent a lot of time in waiting rooms this week. I'm spending more time than Amy. Because while she is in for a check/procedure, I am generally in the waiting room. I like people watching, wondering what the stories are. With my global travels that started about 1998, and then ours that started about 2006...we have done a lot of people watching, usually in airports. But even still we took something away from each travel. A week here, a week there, a few months here or there.
#GrumpyMarsh tangent. People watching, especially here at MD Anderson. We seem to be overly focused on differences and polarization these days. It's more about how different we are than anything. Or how exceptional one group over another. One thing that is for certain, everyone who is down here in Houston at MDA is here for the same reason. And unfortunately that reason is Cancer. And it doesn't care who you are nor does it care where you're from. And the sooner that 'we'...the big 'we' as in humanity...realize we are more similar than different, the better place this will be.
Off tangent and back on subject. An update for this week. There are several tough questions that must be answered through this process.
As a patient, you 'direct' some of your treatment. Your Dr. informs you, and you decide. Really. Initially, a pretty straightforward decision, you have Leukemia and you need to start treatment. Mostly it involves signing consent forms, which are kind of a catch-22. If you don't sign them, no treatment. There is a consent form for everything. I don't 'think' that you can itemize the condition on each form. Depending on your age and health status your doctor might outline treatment options for you. And there may be some tough choices there. Not everything in medicine is cut and dry or black and white. You and your team have to make those decisions. Team = medical, family, etc.
When we have checked in at Seton or MDA, we've always been asked if there were any 'Advanced Directives' or 'Living Wills'. This is a tough part of the story, but I think that it is something that a lot of people don't consider. Tough because we are 37 and 40 years old. No one wants to be prepared for that, but the fact is, it is necessary. If you haven't done them or don't know what I am talking about, better to have the conversation before you need to have it. Better so that your doctors and loved ones know what you want.
Added: From a FB friend of mine. Here is one link on 'Getting your shit together', and another on 'Advanced Directives'. If you are a triathlete or cyclist or do other 'high risk' activities, consider it as well. No one plans on a lot of these things.
Next week, back to Houston. The week after that, back to Houston. No Master's Nationals for me. Next week's update, likely to be a summary of the litany of appointments prior to what we are hoping will be the last phase of Amy's treatment.