This winds up Phase I of the Cancer Triathlon. Phase II is the surgery, tentatively scheduled for April 24. That is the day my surgeon and his favorite robotics surgeon are both available. The tentative part is the availability of the robot. The surgery will be 7-9 hours long. Yep, you read that right. I'll come down to Houston starting the 20th or so, with 2 weeks after blocked out too. I had to get creative to get out of most of heifer calving. Looks like I've successfully dodged AI season too. Pretty good scheduling on my part, eh? After I return home and heal up, we'll start the final part of the race, the chemo. On track to cross the finish line sometime in Nov. or Dec.
As I've tried to communicate, I have tolerated the treatments remarkably well. Again, being relatively young, in good shape, and with no other complicating conditions, I was READY for this fight. My family and friends have coordinated very well so that the most time I've spent by myself here in Houston was 2 days. But I can see each new visitor arriving with some trepidation, having heard me say I'm doing well but not quite sure if I'm just putting on a brave face. It has been a full house too, and I've had to turn some visitors away. Of course, maybe it has something to do with the beach pictures that keep appearing on Facebook.
After the zookeepers departed, we asked a man in an official looking shirt about a particularly sweet smell when he wandered by. Wandered is an apt term because what ensued was a 2 hour wander of all of the gardener's favorite haunts. We're pretty sure he may have been impaired in a CO sort of way for our tour. He was incredibly knowledgeable about all thing horticultural and what makes the principles of Japanese gardening. However, he could not remember our names (he finally made some up), had a definitely difficult time maintaining his balance (although he managed not to fall in the koi pond despite many precarious wobblings) and showed us all the secret places he just liked to hang out. When we expressed admiration for a structure in the middle of the garden, he said it was a Japanese tea house, only open to the public 1x/year for a special ceremony. Unless your personal garden tour is feeling magnanimous and takes you on your own private tour. I was a little worried when he opened the tea cabinet and showed us all the ceremonial items though. They looked delicate. I was pretty sure we were going to be at the center of an "international incident." It wouldn't be the first time.
So tomorrow is the big day - the last treatment. I will get my treatment and then ring out. It is a ceremony where you ring a bell 3 times when you've completed your course. It is a Navy tradition of some sort and started at MDA by a naval officer who was a patient here. I will have to post that one later as we will then immediately knock down BOHICA, hook up and head for home. Hope to be in MHK in time for 5:30 pm Ash Wed. mass! See you soon, my friends. Can't wait to see you soon!