Eric, the lab tech from the research department, had to chase me down this morning while I was doing my power walk. ”Ms. Rice, Ms. Rice!” he said running down the corridor after me. He was very apologetic. ”It’s only Day Three (of me with my super hero white blood cells) but research wants me to do the Day Four labs today because tomorrow’s the weekend,” he said. I laughed and apologized for being hard to find. Deepa, my day nurse, pounced on me as we walked back to my room. She had to check my vitals (blood pressure, pulse and oxygen levels.). Then she gave me my cognition test. I passed. I have it memorized. She pulled up a screen with my blood test results from my 5 a.m. "draw" on her rolling computer. “All of your numbers are great,” she said. She sounded very satisfied. She looked at me. “You know, most patients don’t do what you do. They think they will, but they don’t do it.” Tenacity is a double-edged sword. It kept me in an irreparably broken marriage for far too long. But it also meant that when I was a reporter, almost everyone I wanted to interview ended up talking to me. They might not tell me anything, but sooner or later, they all realized that they couldn't dodge me. It means I log every drop of water I drink to make sure that I am drinking 70 ounces a day to wash all the toxins out of me. It means I suck on that damn spirometer ten times every hour.
And it’s why I’m gonna walk out of MD Anderson totally cured. Yup, I’ll come back for scans and whatever else they need. But my body’s telling me. We’re fine. It's amazing.