Slam dunk!!

Posted: February 13, 2019 in Postcards from Cancerland.

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This morning we had a meeting at Duke with some amazing people.

It wasn’t about basketball.

It was about delivering a death blow to the belly bully. 

It’s time. He’s caused too much pain, and he has definitely overstayed his welcome. 

After spending the night with a dear friend and her awesome dog, we walked into the Duke cancer center early. 

There are so many sweet people all doing the same slow moving dance of suffering. 

It’s breathtaking. 

Before entering the waiting room we had to put on masks. We were required to leave them on. 

I hate masks.

Except for Batman’s mask, it’s cool. 

But I don’t enjoy wearing the surgical mask.

It immediately fogs up my face.

It smells really nasty when I belch. And, I belch a lot lately.

AND…people can’t see me smile when I’m wearing a mask. 

I have to work hard to smile with my eyes.

Sometimes that looks goofy. 

We were ushered back to a small, Duke blue examination room.

We met with a nurse who took my stats and vitals. She weighed me and measured me, I’m holding strong at five feet tall. 

We met with the Doctor, his team, a finance worker, and a social worker.

The social worker commented “This has been going on for a long time, how are you able to deal with it?”

We told her, “Our faith, our family, our friends, that is it.”

It felt like a long job interview. Lots of questions.

But…

Here’s the good news…

They said yes!

We are proceeding with a stem cell transplant!

We are killing the belly bully.

It could happen as soon as next month. 

Here’s what it looks like…

I start a new round of chemo on February 25th.

The tumors need to respond to that chemo.

If they don’t, we will throw another round at them. 

The Doctor said we will keep punching until they respond. 

(PLEASE pray that they respond quickly!)

Then, we go to Durham. 

They will take out my stem cells and freeze them. 

It will be like a Luke popsicle. 

Then I go through super aggressive, in patient chemo. 

If will kill any cancer that is left.

My bone marrow will also be a casualty.

That is why we need the stem cells. 

They will be defrosted and transplanted back into my body through the miracle of science. 

Then, I will have about three weeks when the stem cells are building me back up.

The brave little stem cells will be recapturing lost ground. 

My immunity will be pretty nonexistent. 

When the dust settles and we can take off the masks, the belly bully will be gone.

I will be strong again, ready to dance, and wildly frolic with the Moonpie, and play mediocre basketball. 

That is the plan. 

It’s not going to easy.

But, NOTHING about this crazy journey has been easy. 

Here’s the good news…

Duke said yes. 

SLAM DUNK!

Driving out of the hospital parking lot, Diana and I could only tearfully repeat the word “WOW!” to each other. 

Nothing else captured how we felt right then. 

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