“Friends come in handy, but family is family.” – Kacey Musgraves
Angie’s fourth and recent chemotherapy session was earlier last week. There were many things that stood out to me during this visit. But, instead of focusing on the fact that we had the entire chemo room to ourselves, or the fact that we were accompanied by Angie’s sister during this go-round, I will quickly mention the amazing progress Angie has made. During examination, Dr. Rodgers had trouble locating the largest tumor in Angie’s chest. So, yes, the tumor has shrunk!! I can only assume this is due to the regimen Angie has endured for six weeks, along with her ability to adapt and endure. The doctor is very impressed. All of a sudden, I remember why we’re doing what we’re doing. The long nights, the sickness, the chemicals, the missed work days, it’s all a lot to take in, but it’s working.
So, as you can tell by now, we were blessed with the arrival of Angie’s only sister last week. Melanie came to town in a show of support for her older sister. Melanie was officially our first overnight house guest in our new home. In order for that to happen we had to finished painting and flooring the guest bedroom before Melanie’s arrival. We managed to get it all finished the night before Melanie flew in. Her days spent here were laid back because Melanie was enjoying some downtime from her life as a mother of two. All the moms out there understand; watch TV in peace, eat a meal in peace, sleep in peace. Angie’s fatigue and nausea have kept her in bed for the majority of the past 3 weeks, so it was a challenge to get out and about so we could show Melanie around town.
Fortunately, we were able to make it to Opry Mills, where we pushed Angie around in a wheelchair. It actually made it possible for her to enjoy time away from the house without overexerting herself. Melanie was easily distracted while shopping. She would randomly take her hands off the chair, discarding Angie wherever the chair stopped. Sometimes I found Angie sitting quietly in the corner, facing the wall. There was another time I found Angie pushed up into a rack of clothes, only to see her sister sorting through a sales rack 20 feet away.
By the time Monday morning rolled around, it was easy to see the impact Melanie was having on Angie. Even with her regular symptoms, Angie was able to stay awake and alert longer in order to maximize time spent with Melanie. It was a nice time. Melanie’s departure from Nashville sunk Angie back into a funk. But, she remains ambitious. There have been nights where she’s confident that she will go into work the next morning, or she’ll make it to the Zephaniah show, only to be thwarted by the side effects of her treatment.
Even with the good news on the decreased tumor size, we know there is still plenty of road to tread. Angie’s next chemo session will mark the beginning of the 2nd phase of her battle. She will receive chemotherapy once a week for the next three months leading up to her mastectomy. That’s going to be a lot to take on, but I’m sure Angie will push right through it just as she’s done so far.