Back Again…and a Little Bit Scared

10479950_10152349345889425_5887116538738778476_nJerry and my brother, John, just deopped me off at MD Anderson .  They’re heading over to the Rothko Chapel for a bit of sightseeing and maybe some meditation.  There simply was no sense for everyone to sit in waiting rooms all day waiting for me to “do my thing”.

Walking through the doors to the lobby, heading up to the Diagnostic Center for blood work sent chills through me.  I started slow breathing not to cry.  Even walking into Anne’s house last night threw me.  It just brought back everything.  I thought I did fine while I was going through it, but I’m wondering today if I have a bit of PTSD…stomach churning, on the verge of tears, and so very grateful to be where I am as I look around this crowded waiting room at the many, many people here for blood work.  Right in front of me is a young woman, maybe Erin’s age.  She’s in a wheel chair and keeps reaching back to touch her partner/husband/boyfriend.  She’s sitting there with silent tears rolling down her cheeks while her husband stares vacantly into space.  There are lots of others in the waiting room staring into space although most are on their ipohone or iPad passing the time as they wait to go in.  It’s mobbed…It’s Monday after a holiday weekend.  There isn’t an available seat in the waiting room which probably has about forty chairs.  The additional forty seats in the other waiting room and the hall are filled as well.  I imagine it’s going to be a bit of a wait.  I don’t mind.  I have lots to do as I wait.

And I have plenty of time.  My CT prep isn’t until 1:00 and it’s only 10:30.  I’m hoping to be able to get to Infusion Therapy for a port flush and to the beauty shop for a trim (I can’t do a thing with my hair) before that but if I don’t we’ll go after we see Dr. Ho tomorrow.

Tonight we’re going to the Melting Pot (thank you, Ryan and Anne) with John and my niece, Jill….something fun after a long day at the hospital.

I do believe it’s all going to be fine…NEC again (no evidence of cancer).  Counting my blessings over and over as I hear about friends who were scheduled to come back in late July and are here early because of unrelenting pain and just found out the cancer is back with a vengeance in multiple sites.  I am so blessed…so very, very lucky.



24 thoughts on “Back Again…and a Little Bit Scared

  1. Hang in there, Mary. I think it’s pretty normal to be feeling the way you do.

    Know that lots of love and prayers are being sent your way !! 🙂

  2. Oh, those triggers, PTSD, are SO hard. The feeling of vulnerability all over again, the fear. Hard to keep your mind focused on today, on the reality…. yes, every single indication that it WILL be fine. And won’t it be great, all over again, to hear those words, magic: NEC! Every confidence in that, let it come quickly and definitively, just like before! Sending lots of love… Shirley

  3. Wendie Highsmith

    Eat more cookies!! Lots of deep breathing. Seeing other cancer patients in various stages of pain and apprehension is always a stomach turner. Breathe Wendie


  4. Debbie George

    Praying that all goes well. Keep your chin up and, as you always do, have positive thoughts

  5. Everything that you are experiencing is totally understandable. I’ll bet that somewhere, in all of your readings, you have come ccross the exact same thing. All of my energy is sent your way today…………,

  6. You have every right to be fearful. You are human and a wonderful human at that. Now, go eat a cookie. I just had a huge piece of strawberry shortcake and I feel much better!

  7. Mary your strength is amazing!! Let’s say a prayer for all those in that waiting room. I so wish you didn’t have to go through all of this. I will now go and look at those beautiful 4th of July pictures you posted and eat some cookies. Love you, Mary

  8. In a past experience (far, far minor from what you are going through) after breast cancer, I always felt apprehensive/shaken/holding back tears when I went back for checkups – always wondering . . . wondering . . . as saw the chairs filled with other patients waiting to learn their prognosis. Thinking of you with love and prayers . . . all will be so much better tonight at the Melting Pot with your friends and family. Love, Barb G.

  9. Mary, know that even though all of us cannot be with you physically, we are right there with you mentally and spiritually. Yes, follow Wendie’s advice and eat more cookies!! Thinking of you and sending love and good thoughts your way. Hi! to Jerry.

    • Hi Mary,
      Breathe…You are good!!!
      Just wanted to let you know that I will be in Florida on Aug. 13 to Aug. 20. Hope we can get together. Check your busy schedule and let me know. in the meantime float in your pool.

  10. Oh, how hard to walk back into your past, and their present…be oh so kind to yourself today…wish you could have this kind of check up in a smaller office. But this is the place that helped God work a miracle for you, and you are the other patients’ sign of hope. Hugs…

  11. Prayers are with you…stay strong

  12. Isn’t it wonderful to be human and ALIVE!!! Each check will no doubt bring anxiety, fear, restlessness and untold worry. That’s what makes us human. If you didn’t have trepredation, then you should worry. Checking the time, 1:53, thinking of you, and wishing for you a wonderful report.

  13. U are so “normal” to be frightened…I expect every check up will make u feel that way. Start imagining the relief you’ll feel when u hear the magic words…NEC! Make that your mantra until u see Dr. Ho tomorrow and he says it in person!

    Sent from my iPad


  14. Mary, you probably don’t know this about me, but I have premonitions—and I’m pretty good! That being said, take a deep breath and relax… You’re going to be fine. :). Enjoy dinner tonight! Lora

  15. Thinking of you, Mary. Keeping you always in our thoughts and prayers. Enjoy your time out tonight, sounds like just what the doctor ordered.

  16. Deirdre Christman

    Well OF COURSE you have PTSD! I don’t know how you steeled yourself to walk through those doors, let alone sit in a waiting room filled with frightened people and then just wait, and wait, and wait. I hope it helps a tiny bit to know that all your friends are waiting with you. So once you get out of there for the day, and before you have your hair styled, eat some cookies – and a hot fudge sundae. Love you!

  17. No matter how positive we try to be, no matter how good the prognosis or how long a period of NEC we’ve enjoyed, there’s that tiny voice whispering, “What if?” that comes around now and then like a pesky mosquito. SQUASH THAT PESKY BUG!!! Drown him in hot fudge and cookie dough!!!
    Take care, Mary; can you hear us all cheering for you?!

  18. Barbara Greenberg

    My prayers are for NEC!! Hugs, Barb

  19. Thinking of you all day, Mary, and sending positive thoughts and lots of love your way.

  20. We’re with you, Mary.

  21. Fear sounds normal to me. Just don’t let that scared voice become the voice that puts the seed of “what if” in your head. You’ve got no time for that nonsense. All’s well and THAT is your mantra when you are there. “I can feel scared but I KNOW it’s fine. I already know there is NEC, these tests are just to document it”.

  22. Linda Underwood

    Mary, you continue to amaze me. The gift that you give to all your friends is simply unmeasurable. We all will deal with current/future adversities much braver and with more more openness after your example to us all. Your grace and humanness is remarkable. We all have fear and tears but you are teaching us to deal with them with such dignity and forthrightness. I know I will never deal with a
    “tough patch” the same way after having your guidance. May NEC always be in your life and in the lives of all of us. And as a person desperately trying to diet, the advice of chocolate chip cookies and hot fudge sundaes sounds marvelous!

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