Posts Tagged ‘Friday’

Last weekend I reconnected with one of my first cousins … she’s a year older than I and is my father’s brother’s daughter.  She just happens to live in the same neighborhood as my brother-in-law’s family where we’re staying while I’m being treated.  How ironic is that?  She’s just around the corner from them and we reconnected last Friday night over wine and pizza.

Frances, me and Emilie

My father had another brother as well and he had a daughter who is a year younger than I.  I haven’t seen that girl since we were about 12 years old.  The three of us used to run all over the place at family functions.  Three daughters of three brothers … all within two years in age.  But those wonderful days didn’t last … my father’s family of origin was twisted as an old corkscrew.

My grandmother was a real piece of work and she passed that on to her three boys.  They, in turn, propagated that on their daughters.  We called our grandmother MaaMaa (probably spelled MaMa, but wanted to give you the right pronunciation … much like a sheep bleating) because she couldn’t bear to be called Gramma or whatever like that.  She completely alienated our mothers and we no longer reunited as we had as children.

I knew all about my branch of the Patton tree’s special flavor of … well, shall we say … eccentricity.  But I didn’t know about these other branches after we parted ways.  So the third cousin came to town this weekend and we all reconnected and it was just wonderful!  We laughed till our cheeks hurt . We shared our own flavors of eccentricity and found it all so interesting!  It really left me with such a sense of bafflement (is that a word?) wondering what on earth happened in MaMa’s family of origin to twist her up as badly as she was.  What happened to her?  I saw, for the first time, pictures of her as a young woman and she was beautiful.  Her eyes were so peaceful and serene … but I know from being raised by her son, that serenity and peace was the last thing going on behind those eyes.  She had eight siblings, four of whom were brothers.  I never knew she had brothers until this month because those sisters never spoke to those brothers.  I met my great aunts back in the day, but didn’t even know I had great uncles. So what happened to you, Mama?

It has been such an amazing thing, spending time with these women and my favorite aunt, who is more spry than I, even though she is 30 years older!  They are my family.  Family that I haven’t known in years.  And it feels so good to be back with them, in the South of my childhood, with all the Southern accents flying around!  Good heavens, I’m even drawling like I never left!  Of course, I’m the North Carolina girl … we’re a little tangy-er … a little more country than the genteel, Georgia Southern.  Hide the silver, y’all … the country cousin’s in town!  Oh, it is just so good!

Ice coming out of the wall

Our last travel day went smoothly as we made out way south to Georgia.  Got a pic of some really cool, frozen runoff coming out of a wall by the highway.  Finally we made it to Georgia, got settled in in Marietta, and I am now ensconced in the infusion room of the Immune Recovery Center.  It was a bit of a goat rope this morning because they suddenly lost one of their physicians to an unexpected heart attack last week. The clinic was a busy one, which I would say is a good sign.  Either they’re really helping people here or they have one helluva marketing team.  Seeing that I could hardly find any reference to this clinic on the internet, I’m hoping for the former.

The first day started out much like any doctor’s check-in.  Filled out the necessary paperwork and handed over the credit card for the consultation fee.  In the exam room, after collecting a urine sample, they took preliminary information, accessed my port, and drew a crapload of blood.  By tomorrow, they’re going to know me better than I know myself.  Then they hung three bags on my IV pole:  15gms of IV Vit C, Colloidal Silver, and an anti fungal of which I can’t remember the name.  I spent the rest of the afternoon just chilling with the IV, talking to the director of the clinic, who is both a physician’s assistant and a licensed naturopath.

He is going to give me a small dose of Cytoxan chemo on Friday … a very small dose … to remove the protein from the outside of the cancer cells so they are more vulnerable.  That is a one-time dose.  I will also start Cytokine therapy Friday, or so they said today.  The insulin potentiation chemo will start next week.  One of the drugs will be Gemzar (gemcitabine) which is a chemo drug my cancer has never seen.

At this point, my biggest concern is food.  I just can’t eat much.  And he’s suggesting Megace which two different oncologists have not considered the benefit worth the risk, so I don’t

Butterfly bag

think I’m going buy off on that one.  I know I need to eat, but they’re just going to have to work around my situation and hope that, through treatment, we can get my appetite back.

Afterward, we had to rummage Whole Foods (found the cutest tote … I’m a sucker for butterflies these days … transformation), find some protection for my iPhone, and get a warm, cozy throw from Target.  I was so cold in there today.  Cloudy with highs in the 40s but tomorrow will be sunny with highs in the 60s.  Yup, leave it to the South to be bipolar!  I’m exhausted, so I’m headed to a glass of wine and my favorite meds.  Early bed for me tonight!