Penny went in for her genetics testing appointment at Abbott Hospital last Friday. They are testing her DNA to see if her cancer is nature or nurture. Mostly genetic testing is done to help others in the bloodline take precaution if it is found in the genetics that there could be a higher risk of getting cancer.
Our neighbor Howard drove Penny and dropped her off as I got the kids situated and out the door for various play dates and activities. It was a wild morning of people coming and going - the phone ringing, people at the door knocking, kids in chaos, the maid cleaning and me in the middle trying to keep all the plates spinning.
Penny called letting me know she was ready to be picked up from the hospital. On my way to Abbott, I drove around Lake Calhoun. I was met with a beautiful sight. All I saw as far as I could see was a sea of people in pink. The Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure where great people walk-run 60 miles over 3-days to raise money for breast cancer research had just begun and their first mile was across my path. The timing was wonderful. The massive sight of the sea of pink humanity continues the theme about the power of numbers to take on life challenges. I rolled down my window, honked my horn and waived my hand to show love and support.
The day prior Penny went wig shopping with some of her girlfriends, Ann and Meghan. Penny’s youngest brother Justin is getting married in October and Penny is not excited about the fact that she will lose her hair by the wedding. She spent a few hours trying on wigs and was comforted that things won’t be that bad. She will look fine in a wig.
Cancer really gets in the way of life. We had plans. Now everything needs to be reevaluated. Penny thought about trying to delay chemo until after her brother’s wedding. Then it could be delay after my trip overseas, or a trip she planned to take to Mexico with girlfriends. Yup, cancer is not very considerate when it comes to timelines and a calendar of previous plans. We have settled our mind that cancer comes first – we can’t delay treatment. We will just have to realign our life around our new reality.
Sad news… My brother in law, Peter, lost his brother – Larry - yesterday to cancer. Larry died at age 66 after battling the disease for a while. To compound matters, Larry’s wife Rita is currently wagging her own fight against breast cancer. Larry’s legacy lives on through his children, grandchildren and the people he touched in his life.
The other awful news I heard yesterday was that my sister Peggy learned that a tenant committed suicide in her house that she had rented. Penny recently moved into a new home and decided to rent her old home after not being able to find a buyer. After months of struggling to find someone to rent her house on Anderson Island in WA, she was excited to finally find a renter. It was a retired brother and sister. Now a few months later the brother shot himself in the home (I can only imagine the gruesome scene). The sister left. And Peggy is contracting with a hazmat service to clean her home. If it was hard to find a renter before, I am sure it will even be harder now. I feel for her.
Penny got her hair cut short today. She decided to cut her hair short as a way to help the kids manage the change in mom’s appearance when she loses her hair. It was also a way for Penny to take control of a situation beyond her control. The shorter hair is a first step, followed by chemo hair loss, a wig, etc. Penny has been a long time client of the Chair Hair Salon. After becoming aware of her situation, the owner of the salon gave Penny a free cut. It was very nice of him. Good deeds come back in spades… I am positive he will have a long, prosperous business.
We found a nanny to help with the kids while Penny undergoes Chemo treatments. Brianne, my 19 year old niece from Maine, has decided to come and stay with us for six weeks mid-September through October. She is a great kid (young adult) and will be a wonderful help to have around. I am looking forward to her experiencing mid-west people and life.
This is the last week before the kids go back to school. Summer is ending. Next week we will get the kids into their new school routine. Penny will meet again with her Oncologist. We will both attend Chemo class – (YEA…) and Penny will have a port installed in her chest to accommodate the IV drips. I am guessing the port will be in there for the next year.
Just another day, and another week in the Joyce house. One day, one step at a time.