Road Trip!

Immediately after chemo seemed like the perfect time to take a road trip to Houston to get a second opinion.  So I sat in the passenger seat with my blanket and my Saltines and my ginger chews, and Jeff drove us to a hotel near the MD Anderson Cancer Center.  It's one of the top cancer centers in the world.  I've heard you will see Saudi princes showing up with suitcases full of cash to get treatment there.

A night away from the kids would normally be exciting, but instead we ordered room service and Jeff got to watch me sleep off chemo for 14 hours.  In the morning, we met with the Chairman of Breast Oncology.  The top dog.  The head honcho.  He was very thorough and reviewed all of my scans and reassured us that I am on the right treatment plan.  He had some different thoughts about ovary removal -- he prefers ovary suppression for women under 40.  And he thinks MD Anderson does an excellent job of targeted lymph node removal (to lessen your risk of lymphedema), so I am strongly considering having my surgery done in Houston.  Cancer is way more complicated than I imagined, so when a doctor takes the time to explain everything in depth, you get out your pen and listen up.  Good thing I drank that crappy hotel coffee this morning.

Then we drove back home and stopped at Hruska's for celebratory kolaches.

Now I have a date with the couch.  If I hurry, I can squeeze in 15 minutes of TV before I fall asleep.  And that reminds me: if you've never listened to Tig Notaro's stand-up comedy routine that she performed right after being diagnosed with breast cancer, you need to.  It's raw and sad and funny.         


  1. Note: that building in the photo is an *annex* of MDA. The main building is to her left. Half of Houston seems to be part of this hospital complex, and MDA is many buildings. Breast cancer appointments had their own floor, with so many corridors of rooms that they had to give them friendly names like "Lily" and "Azalea" so you and the nurse could find each other.

    Note: Saudi princes don't touch cash. It's beneath them. We tried asking what different options they'd recommend if we had suitcases of cash, and it mostly sounded like insurance was covering everything they'd recommend. I didn't ask what would happen if, instead of suitcases, we were thinking something like the Sheikh Zayed building:

  2. I love your writing and am glad you are doing this blog. Hugs friend!


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