Road Trip to Houston

August 15, 2016

It’s a four hour drive to Houston.  Unless traffic.  Unless rain.  We had six hours together in the car.  To talk about what was about to happen to our family, what we were afraid of, what we hoped to accomplish at our first visit to MD Anderson.  Six hours to laugh, cry and pray together.

Here is a very brief summary of our week in Houston:

Tuesday morning we met with Dr. Wang.  He was everything we hoped for and more. Funnier than we expected. We heard he would be serious. He wasn’t. Patrick has that effect on people.  He and Dr. Wang make a good team.

“You will need treatment right away my friend.”  And there it was.

But then they talked about the breakthroughs, the trials and the speaking tour they could go on when Patrick becomes one of his first patients to use the word “cured”.  I can see it.  It could happen.  Dr. Wang wrote his whole treatment plan and research results on that paper sheet that goes on the exam table.  WHY didn’t I take a picture of it? I will next time.  He writes while he talks, on anything he can find to write on.  He wants to find a cure in his lifetime. I pray he does. I pray Dr. Wang has a long and healthy life.  I will pray this every day.

Tuesday through Friday – Tests.  More tests.  So many tests.

I thanked God so many times for giving me a great sense of direction.  MD Anderson is a city.  We have an online account, we can login from our phones and see everything we need to see.  Like what tests were scheduled and where we had to go for them.  Different buildings, different floors, use the correct elevator, park in the garage 10.  We handled this part so well, I would almost say it was easy.  Almost.  Not so easy for Patrick.  He was put through the ringer.  I confess I lost it a few times when they gave him a gown, or an IV.  And every time they asked for his “medical record number” I felt sick. He’s PATRICK, he’s not a number.  But I get it, it’s just how things have to be done.  Records must be kept.  So much delicate information.  They triple check everything.

Funny story– they made him take the EKG twice, because his heart rate was low.  Super-athletic low.  (I did say he was my superhero, did I not? You heard it here first) They wanted a minimum resting heart rate so they told him to do some jumping jacks, run around a bit and then re-do the test.  The nurses laughed, the doctors laughed, it was a moment of lightness.  He’s in excellent health.  He’s too damn healthy to be sick. But here we are.

When we finally made it home on Friday night, we rushed to the girls’ volleyball game.  It was all I could do not to run on the court and hug them right there.  Our friends were there, they said things, there were hugs.  I barely remember any of it.  As soon as my kids approached, I ran to them and we hugged like we hadn’t seen each other all week because we’d been pulled away unexpectedly and separated for five days instead of the one day we planned for.  I’ve never been so happy to be home in all my life.

And now we wait. Again.  Need all good results from all those tests.  Need confirmation that Patrick is IN the trial that Dr. Wang researched, designed and recommended.  We consented for the trial the day we met.  Patrick is patient number 47.  There are only 50 spots.  If he “passes” we start this Thursday.

Please pray.  We need this trial.