Friday, February 26, 2010

Arizona

Did I have a great time in Arizona? I don't think I would go so far as to say it was great. Am I glad I went? Definitely. Thanks Sarah, for making it possible for me to go. My birthmom, Sherry, needed me there.

The travels went smoothly. Oh wait, no they didn't. My flight out of Little Rock was delayed, and delayed, and delayed again. I never found out why. I checked in with the gate attendant, and she confirmed me on a later flight from Dallas to Phoenix, in case I missed my connection. It gave me peace of mind because my flight from Little Rock landed in Dallas 3 minutes after my flight from Dallas to Phoenix was scheduled to depart. I got off the plane in Dallas, glad I would have a few minutes to use the potty and grab some dinner before getting over the the later flight. But then a fellow passenger who knew I was going to Phoenix grabbed me and told me the original flight was waiting for us. So I ran. And ran. And ran. Then I spotted one of those carts that takes older and disabled folks from gate to gate. At that point, I was pretty well disabled from running so hard. The driver took pity on me and drove me to the gate. I got on the plane and they closed the door behind me. No potty stop. No dinner. Bummer. A nice little old man gave me the potato chips his wife had packed for him because he knew I had not had a chance to eat. He was so nice, and those chips were good! Held me over until I arrived in Phoenix, on time after all that!

On Monday Sherry and I went up to her work and I met all her co-workers. She works with a very nice bunch of people. That evening we splurged. I took her out to dinner at her favorite Italian restaurant, where we stuffed ourselves with Garlic Shrimp Caesar Salad, Chicken Parmesan, and homemade pasta. Then we headed home and watched the Olympics together while consuming Ben & Jerry's ice cream at an alarming rate. She splurged  because she knew it would be the last meal she would feel like eating for a while. I splurged because I need to gain some more weight...yeah right! I'm pretty sure it was worth it, though.

Tuesday was chemo day. I was really apprehensive about being in a chemo office again. It has been 7 years since I was there with my mom, and I was afraid I would lose it. Thanks to everyone who prayed for me. I did not lose it...held it together quite well, really. The treatment took five hours, most of which she slept through. I did some reading, worked on the verses I am memorizing for Awana, and played Sudoku. She woke up shortly before it was time to leave. It was her 5th treatment out of 6!

That night was another Olympics night, which was frequently interrupted by the beginning of the chemo side effects: hot flashes, cold shakes, rashy skin, and nausea. That's why the trip was not great. I had forgotten how horribly helpless I feel when I watch someone I love suffering, and not being able to do anything about it. All I could do was quietly pray for her, and remind her that she only has one more treatment to go.

Wednesday was more of the same.We watched movies all day, and the Olympics at night. There were additional side effects that started throughout the day. Dry heaves, swollen eyes, body aches, constipation, etc. I am glad I was there, though. I didn't do anything because there was nothing for me to do. Just my presence was enough, though. She has such a great attitude about it all. She is terrified of needles, but took her shots and chemo like a champ. She hates being bald, but is able to joke about it. In fact, we joked a lot about everything while I was there. I am still amazed at how much laughing we did together.

Thursday morning we drove to the airport singing at the top of our lungs to 90's rock songs that were on the radio. And then I flew. It was a peaceful flight home, this time via Chicago. And now I'm back into the routine of life. It felt so good to hug my kids, and kiss my man. I enjoyed folding the 10 loads of laundry that Matt cycled for me while I was gone. Now I am anticipating going to pick up my girl from school in a few minutes.

Being around someone who is so sick really makes you appreciate your health. How thankful I am for my healthy body, and I am more motivated than ever to make wise choices when it comes to what I eat, and how I spend my time. Okay, I'm getting sidetracked here. I think it's time that I bring this post to a close. I'll leave you with a few photos from the trip.

The poison, as Sherry calls her chemo. These were the first four of eight different meds.

Sherry in the chemo chair

Sweet photo, terrible lighting.

Ever the sense of humor...I think it it awesome that a baldy woman has a license plate that says Afro!

4 comments:

Smarshie said...

I'm SO glad you were able to be with Sherry, Emily. I'm sure that meant a lot to her. And you're right - your presence, love, and prayer was probably the best thing for her. By the way, she looks GREAT. What an awesome smile (esp. in the Afro picture). She's going to fight this!

Nikki said...

It was good to hear about your trip Emily. Thanks for sharing. I am so happy that you got to go....I remember praying for the finances for you to be able to. God is good.

Southern Belle said...

So thankful your flight to and from Phoenix went smoothly. I am so glad you were able to be there for Sherry, just sorry it couldn't be under better circumstances. Praying for you all. Hugs.

~Christine

Tara said...

I am so glad you were able to go and spend time with Sherry. Just reading your post made me stop and think about the experience because it is something I've never had to endure. Thanks for sharing your trip with us and for sharing something with Sherry that I'm sure meant the world to her - your time and prayers. I know your family missed you!!!