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photo by Sheri Dixon

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Of Painted Ponies and Elevator Buttons

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game


Remember that song? Joni Mitchell? It was going through my head for the last two days.

Ward had a few appointments in Houston yesterday, so we drove down Sunday evening and came home late last night.

Nothing unusual about that.

For the first time ever, Alec opted to stay at home.

That was weird.

The back seat was hella quiet and when we got to the hotel we stepped into the elevator and were stuck.

What to do now?

Neither one of us had pushed an elevator button for over a decade. Anyone who's a parent knows what I'm talking about.

Not gonna lie to you- being alone with my husband in a hotel room overnight had some definite perks.

And we were in contact with Alec via text.

And Alec was 50ft away from Joe's house if he needed help, so he wasn't ALONE alone.

The reason the song was going through my head.

Once we first walked through the doors of MD Anderson almost 6 years ago now, we became part of the circle.

The circular routine of scans, exams, surgeries, rechecks, rechecks rechecks, and repeat. Ward's had 6 surgeries in 6 years there and we've lost track of the number of scans and rechecks.

We have spent every single major holiday inside the walls of MD Anderson at least once.

When we first started going down there Alec was a mere child of 7.

He's now a young man of 13- taller than I am by almost a head; yea verily looking his 6'1" dad almost squarely in the eye.

The good thing- nay the GREAT thing is that they got the cancer first shot out of the box 6 years ago. Every other surgery and complication has been graft and now dental related (radiation causes teeth to fall out and jaws to deteriorate- who knew?)

Some have been routine.

Some have had mild detours like MRSA or severe hives or difficult to control bleeding.

One almost killed him.

But he's been cancer-free.

We had 3 appointments yesterday.

The first one with the dental surgeon (he's a month out from his oral surgery to remove the roots of 5 broken teeth and then 'smoothing the bone') went great. He's healing well and after a good cleaning of the remaining teeth they'll start working on getting him some partials so he can...chew.

The second appointment with the pain doctor was routine enough. "Is your pain level being kept under control by your current medication?" "Yes. Yes it is, thanks". "Ok- we'll leave your dosage where it is and see you in 6 months".

We had about an hour before the last appointment and we sat outside in the sunshine- there's a little garden tucked between the hospital, the parking garage and the street with benches and pigeons and lots of flowers.

The final appointment was with the dermatologist- the yearly 'nose to toes' check for any recurrence of the skin cancer that started this whole mess. Nothing.

"Lemme just check your lymph nodes and we'll be done".

"Wait. There's a lump here".

They're scheduling the CAT scan for next week.

And the painted ponies go up and down...





1 comment:

  1. dang that Joni Mitchell....this is all her fault you know. (I really do like her and her music) So sorry, it's way past time to get off this merry-go-round. Best wishes. Your hubby is a fortunate man to have such support around him, doing it alone would be unbearable. take care.

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