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Quick Update! And (of course) A Political Observation!


Okey dokey, I've emailed this to most of you but here is an update! Along with a photo of the breakfast my cousin Sarah made for everyone (except me, not eating today). Just keep thinking healing healthy thoughts and thank you!!!!!!

Hafta love my surgeon, Mark Zafereo, and his fellow, whose name I think is Ben. I met them yesterday. Their accents make it clear they are not from Texas. But they wear cowboy boots under their scrubs. Everyone here at MD Anderson is incredibly thoughtful and kind, it is very impressive. My cousin's husband (he with the great wine cellar) says that is typical Texas kindness.

Interesting, huh! Because their laws and leaders are not kind. Just shows how Dems have a lot of work to do it countering their marketing! They all really are Dems at heart here, they just don't know it.

Anyway--here are further details.

This afternoon (Tuesday) I will have another surgery. After that I will have radiation and chemo. And I am glad. The surgeons here at MD Anderson are taking out what an ultrasound taken here at MD Anderson indicates is cancer. I had the neuro interventional ultrasound done yesterday (Monday), that was an adventure in and of itself, with a doctor who likes pristine. I love a doctor who likes pristine. After I got done with her (this is still Monday), I hotfooted it over to the Mark Zafereo's office, the surgeon. Sarah, my cousin, meets me there in the waiting room. We check in and we're escorted into an office. Where we sit and wait some more. It's 4:30 or 5. It's getting quiet. Suddenly the door pops open and two guys in white jackets walk in. It's Mark Zafereo and Ben. They talk to us, they look at various images on the computer, Sarah and me right behind them, pointing out this big red round spot, which as the cancer (somewhat unnevering to look at that) that was still in there and Dr. Zafereo says half to Ben and half to me and Sarah, "Hmm, we can just pop that out!" Me, behind him "Yes! Let's do that!" I added, pointing to my scar--"It's a zipper." They smiled. Politely. "Hmm, I could do it tomorrow," he says. He looks at me. "I've got two ops, I could slip you in right after those." Sarah and I hold our breaths. Meanwhile, there's that biopsy that I just had done an hour earlier three floors down and one building over. "Let's get some more on that," he says, and calls over the to neuro interventional ultrasound. "Ben," he says, "did you look at that biopsy for Catherine Rice? No? Let me try Tin." "Tin," he says and starts talking to him. As he talks, he fumbles in his pockets. He pulls out another phone. He's calling someone else! Sarah, who is used to busy people, pokes me. Her eyes are big. "He is talking on two phones at once!" she mouths silently. We don't want to make any noise. I would love to take a photo but I know it's not a good idea. Unbelievably, Mark-who-can-talk-on-two-phones-at-once-to-two-different departments, gets me on schedule for surgery the very next day! My MyChartMDAnderson app already has me in--not an exact time, but the afternoon of Oct. 12. Dr. Zafereo's fellow has me sign a consent form (yet another). He apologizes. I'm like, look man, it's fine, I'll sign it! He leaves. Sarah and I sit there. It is 'way after what in most clinics is closing time. It is very quiet. "Do you think we can leave now?" Sarah says. The door pops open. It's Dr. Zafereo. "Didn't he (meaning the fellow) tell you could leave now?" he says. How many docs do stuff like that? We thank him profusely again, say "see yuh tomorrow!" And leave. So a little background: The tissue samples that Mount Sinai was supposed to send so MD Anderson could look at them themselves have still not arrived. Nothin’ we can do about that. But, I do have cancer and it is probably what Mount Sinai diagnosed. MD Anderson can treat it. The weekend tests confirmed the earlier ones: no disease (that's how they say it) elsewhere in my body. This is very good. Very, very good. Having this removed means I go into radiation and chemo disease free. I am glad I am getting radiation and chemo. It'll be five days of radiation and one day of chemo, this means I probably will keep my hair. So I am getting extensions! Not lots, just a bit! For you health care professionals, radiation is the main driver of this treatment, the chemo's role is to make the radiation more effective. So, I am relying on science, but supplementing it with exercise, journaling, therapy (both through MD Anderson, which eminently trust in this department, and individual therapists for me and my family) working with an energy coach, yoga, full moon and new moon ceremonies (going to the goddesses here), Norman Cousins-style humor therapy, and most importantly of all, the cheerleading I have been getting from all of you! Thank you so much for all of your love.

ALSO, Eliana was still here so Monday night she and I cuddled. Who could be luckier? I know, I can't believe I just wrote that myself either.

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