Our normal six-week scan snuck up on us. Rarely was Tommy not able to accompany me but he had to be out of town on business. My son Louis was our backup option while Tommy would be conferenced in on the oncology appointment with Dr. Mody.
Dr. Mody and his delightful PA, Margaret entered the examination room with their usual smiles. (This was always a good sign.)
We exchanged hugs and hellos and explained Tommy would be joining us via phone.
“Well, your blood work looks good.” reported Dr. Mody as he scanned the reports on the monitor and papers he held in his hand.
“Your scan shows another tumor in the left lung…7mm, small and a cluster of smaller very small ones near it. But, the rest of the tumors are stable.” He added.
If anyone is counting, like me, that makes two in the left lung plus the cluster and 11 in the right lung. Not the best news I was hoping to hear, but not the worst either.
“There are two treatment options I suggest.” Said Dr. Mody. “We stay on one month chemo maintenance OR we go to a every other-week schedule.”
There was little hesitation as Tommy asked what I wanted to do.
“I think we up the treatment to every two weeks.” I responded.
“I thought that would be your answer.” Said Dr. Mody as he smiled at me.
So, what date does that make her next chemo Doc?’ Tommy asked.
“August 5th would be two weeks.” He answered.
“That will give us a nice long weekend where you will be feeling good for a trip to celebrate our anniversary.” Said Tommy. “How about just the two of us fly down to Atlantis for a long weekend Jude?” He queried.
This was one of the ways my husband has supported me and helped keep me reaching for strength along this journey. Many amazing trips have helped to keep me moving forward. But this trip would be a bit different…we would be going by ourselves.
Thirty-six years is a pretty big deal! As I reflect, it seems to have flown by. So much has happened. What is the expression they say when you have young children? ” The days are long but the years fly by.” This is so very true.
Thirty-six years ago we honeymooned on a Norwegian Cruise ship out of Ft. Lauderdale bound for Freeport, Nassau, The Bahamas. It was a beautiful trip. We shopped the straw market in Freeport, John Bull for jewelry and walked the streets aimlessly just taking in Bohemian life. We were 34 and 25 and had a great life ahead of us. We were so in love.
We returned to Freeport one Thanksgiving weekend, this time by air. One of the many Thanksgiving getaways Tom would plan with his parents. Louis was celebrating his 16th birthday and Lindsay was 15. We stayed at Atlantis, the big mauve and tan hotel that was built to represent the lost city of Atlantis rising up from the ocean floor in all its’ magnificence. Huge towers and arches, water slides with living pools of stingray and fish right from the ocean waters surrounded the many buildings. It was breathtaking.
Tom’s parents loved the fact there was a casino and several restaurants offering every variety of dining. It was the perfect place for these snowbirds to escape even if for just a week.
And, here we were again, thirty-six years later in that same beautiful hotel visiting the aquarium, the shops and the spa each day for a service. We loved our time at the casino playing the slots together or Tommy playing three card poker. But the romantic dinners at fie star restaurants was always our most treasured time together.
We laughed and reminisced. It would always come to the present situation. And we would find some sort of humor in it. Cancer was a part of our life now, but we would never let it bring us down. It made us appreciate every moment together, every memory, every person. Cancer has become our touchstone around which our life evolves.
I am so grateful to God for bringing Tommy into my life. And, I am certain that without him, my attitude during this trial would not be the same.
Happy Anniversary honey. I love you more today than yesterday, but not as much as tomorrow.