Tuesday, July 25, 2006

T O W N = tons of wonderful neighbors

I had a lab appointment today. I was really nervous, for nothing really. It was less than 10 minutes total that I was even in the oncology building. Anyway my hemoglobin is a little low (10.2 instead of 11 or more) but that is it, everything else is in the normal range, which means my body is tolerating the medicine (poison) that will eventually save my life. YEAH!

I had a few errands to run today so I made an early appointment so I could be home before too late. Who knew the mall and Sam's club didn't open until 10? I am such a moron. But, I got to spend an hour with a dear friend waiting it out at her office and we had a great visit. The people around me are my strength, they are the force that drives me to want to be BRAVE and beat this disease. I can't make it without them. It is so important to have friends and family and neighbors and people who care. My community or TOWN is amazing and so supportive. I am blessed.

I was on a mission to get my ring cleaned and I was walking swiftly (well as swiftly as you can with a thoracotomy and a port a cath and a huge purse and cheap sandals), when a kiosk salesman gently touched my arm and asked for a moment of my time. I tried to get away, but I have never been very good at saying "no" so he sat me down in front of a giant mirror and started combing my hair and using a steam straightener on it. His mouth was moving, but I didn't hear him, I just stared into the mirror looking at my long hair. I couldn't tell you what he said, but he was three-quarters the way around my head before I finally said, "I am sorry, I have to stop you, I am not a potential customer, I am losing my hair." He kept on working, only now his eyes were soft and his ears were listening to me as I told him how I was recently diagnosed and would probably lose all my hair. He calmly stated that his mother, too, had cancer and the chemo did not take her hair, and nowadays, with modern medicine, I have a good chance of keeping my hair AND beating the cancer. We had a very nice talk and I apologized 15 minutes later about wasting his time and excused myself. It was odd, how nice it felt to just tell someone, to admit it out loud. It was nice the way I got to hear his story, how we had something in common, this salesman with a harsh accent and little old plain me.

My mom and my sister and I are leaving very early Thursday morning to catch the red eye to Chicago and then two hours later we take another flight to Dallas, TX. I can't wait to see my cousins that I haven't seen in years and my aunts that I haven't seen since my Grandpa Toffel passed away. It will be a nice reunion of sorts. I wish my kids and my dh could come, too. Tomorrow I will spend the day packing, today my sister is here sewing me some boob tubes to wear under my shirts... I figured I should probably wear a bra if I am leaving the state.
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