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My DACA Journey

From yoga instructor on Facebook this morning.

Quique (pronounced Key-Kay) was eight the first time I met him. I didn’t know, until recently, that he had walked across the desert for five or six days just a few months before to enter the US. (Can you imagine walking days in the heat with three kids?)  I asked if he remembered the journey. He nodded, because he doesn’t talk much until you hang out for a long while. At eight, he lived in a small camper with his family: mother, father, sister, brother and himself, a quarter mile or so from us.  (I cannot say I have had much conversation with his family because of the language barrier, but also because they are very unassuming.  They don’t ask for anything.  They have shared vegetables from their garden before and I have taken small pints of raspberries from my raspberry bushes to share, but that is the extent of our relationship.)  A few years later, Quique and his family moved 15 miles away, and we didn’t see him again.

(I also didn’t realize he didn’t understand anything I was saying to him all those years ago, he would just laugh at us and go along with whatever we were doing.  So my attempts to manage our little visitor when we took him to church were not usually successful.)

Fast forward a few years.  New neighbors moved in to the trailer that adjoins our yard, essentially living in our backyard.  I noticed a teenage boy in a black hoodie waiting for the bus every morning when I left for work.  It took a few weeks (maybe months) for me to realize that he was little Quique, all grown up, and now going by Rick (name changed to protect identity).  I was excited to see him again, and we began to converse in the yard occasionally.  He started going to church with us again and becoming one of ‘my kids’.  Not long after Rick moved back, my son turned 16.  As we were going through the “learning to drive” process (aka my kid is going to wreck my car and kill us both process), I asked Rick if he was going to get his license.  In his hesitant way, he explained that he couldn’t. If you’re an illegal, you have to purchase a fake driver’s license and fake documents to work, social security cards etc.  This made me so sad.  This boy, with high grades in school, who would help my grandparents plant flowers, who would keep me company as I worked in the yard, his future was stunted by his birth in a place he can hardly remember living. I spent quite a bit of time in prayer over this. One night, I awoke in the middle of the night with the thought Your brother in law is an immigration attorney… How I failed to remember this, I don’t know, but the next day brought on a new journey that I never knew I would take.  The task: Get Rick a License!

I don’t remember the conversation with Daniel, but somehow I learned of DACA for the first time.  I learned that was the only way for Rick to get a legal status to be here (unless he wanted to get married), to drive, to work, to not have to worry that he could be deported for trying to live a normal American life.  He didn’t ask for help. He and his family didn’t receive any form of government assistance.  His father worked in a mill and a second job as a farm hand to support their family of five.  He wasn’t looking for handouts.  He wasn’t looking for a hand up. He was looking to do what God has designed every man to do: work.  I realize the thought that work is to be avoided has permeated our society.  However, Solomon would disagree with the notion that work is to be avoided.  Check out some proverbs about it.

So DACA… It isn’t easy to qualify for DACA.  We had to provide proof that he was in the US before age 16. School records helped a lot (thank you Mrs. Baird for your assistance in this), but we had to produce bills, phone records etc. from 10 years earlier.  I don’t know if you know this, but when you don’t have a social security number or credit cards, and you don’t read English (so you can’t write checks if you have a checking account) you pay cash, FOR EVERYTHING.  You don’t have a plan at AT&T, you buy minutes at Walmart.  When you’ve moved around, you don’t have random stacks of old bills just laying around. We had to get a copy of his birth certificate from his grandma, in Mexico.  Then we had to translate the birth certificate.  Thankfully, a friend at church was willing to do this for us. (I don’t understand this.  It’s not like there aren’t people at homeland security who can read Spanish, but I don’t make the rules!). He had to send in a photo ID.  I mentioned that you can’t get one of those without legal proof that you can be here, right?!? I think we may have ended up sending in a school ID.    After we gathered the correct documentation, passport photos, a urine sample, hair DNA testing (I may be exaggerating on the last two), we mailed it all in with the proper forms and a $400+ money order.  Then we waited.  I don’t remember how long it was but, later we got notice that we screwed something up and had to send in more documentation.  Finally, Rick got a letter that he had to go to Nashville on a set date two weeks in the future.  I was scheduled to work that day.  I tried to call to change the appointment, but there was no number on the letter, no email address. We could send a letter to Washington DC requesting a change of appointment, but if we failed to appear at the appointed time it could make things more difficult in the future. I changed my work schedule, and we made the two hour trek to Nashville.  When we arrived, there was a sign on the door announcing no phones, electronic devices or purses were allowed inside.  We had to go through security (the security officer was nice enough).  When we got there for the finger printing, we were told we needed a transcript from the school proving he was a high school student.  I asked for a fax number or email address where they could send the documentation.  We found out they don’t share such information, nor do they tell you their names.  Remember, I couldn’t bring my iPhone or my iPad in to show an email of the documents.  I don’t remember how we solved that problem, but it worked out.  Finally, after months of work and waiting, the ID showed up in the mail. 

The further we got into the process , the more I realized he couldn’t do this without me.  We live in rural Kentucky.  He doesn’t have the transportation to Nashville.  He wouldn’t have known how to get the documentation.  His family couldn’t have communicated well enough to help him.  I never realized how oppressed many immigrants in our nation are, not because someone is trying to keep them down, but because of language barriers, because of laws and practices that those of us born here just don’t know and have little reason to think about or understand.  Because we don’t know or understand, we don’t do anything to change them. Reading through Facebook, we spend a good deal of thought (or at least opinions) judging immigrants for not doing what we do or not “getting in line” to enter the country.  What we don’t understand is that there isn’t a line, and if there were, most couldn’t afford to be in it.  We have NO concept of the life they are leaving when they risk their lives to come here.

I remember visiting Cancun with my mom when I was 19. We rented a car for a day and got a little turned around.  We ended up in a  neighborhood that tourists aren’t supposed to see.  I vividly remember seeing a man riding a bicycle with his family on it with him, his wife and three kids!  The homes were mostly made of tin sheets leaned together.  I had never seen anything like it before. The part of Mexico Rick is from is notorious for its drug lords.  I think that is why his sister is so scared of being deported.  What would she have to do to survive in such a place?

Writing this blog has me thinking a great deal of my immigrant heritage. Today, I visited my grandparents to ask questions about immigration. I wish (I could figure out how to add that audio here!) My paternal great grandmother, Martha,  immigrated from Germany in 1888.  I asked my grandfather what he knew about that.  His grandparents had family who had migrated to Iowa and they decided to join them. Before Martha was two, her family went to the river bank in Germany to find a boat to take them to America. The family had to wait a time (I assume camping) until space was available for the clan. They came through Ellis Island and went through the process of becoming Americans.  Apparently, at that time, the government was giving away land; if you worked the land for a certain period of time, they gave it to you.  

My grandmother’s great grandmother came over from Germany with six children. Her husband died the day they embarked in New Orleans.  She and her brood traveled up the Mississippi River to St. Louis and joined a group of Lutheran Germans with an orphanage. She put four of the children in an orphanage while she worked as a domestic until she was able to marry and old widower. She then retrieved her children from the orphanage. She had another child after marrying him, and that was her grandmother, Lizzie. I’m attaching my Grandmother’s writing to her daughter on the subject. 

Back to Rick
So you ask… Did he get his license? Well, I took both boys to take their permit test the same day.  In Kentucky, you don’t just have to have proof of who you are, you also have to have a social security card to get a license.  We had been told we didn’t have to have a social security card with the ID card he had, but apparently we were told incorrectly.  So, that started a new journey… getting a social security number.  That, my friends, is a pain in the a❤️❤️! I won’t bore you with the details, but because he has a social security number, he can work, he can pay taxes, he can pay for health and dental and vision insurance for himself.  He would like to go to school, but that is going to require a little more saving and taking the actual driver test (He has his permit and is a good driver.  He can even parallel park.) so he can drive to class, and purchasing a car.  I don’t know if you can tell, I am especially proud of my friend, and the way he has faced difficulties without any resentment.  He has persevered with great gratitude and great attitude.
Though Rick is reserved, he’s quick witted, with a goofy joke always ready. He asks deep questions in a quiet unassuming way.  His calm demeanor and gentle smile is a nice change from the loud banter that accompanies my brood at Sunday afternoon lunch.  I know as he continues into manhood I will see him less and less.

  His family no longer walks through my yard to go fishing at the local pond.  Rick has since moved from my back yard.  The owner of the trailer his family resided in passed away and it will soon be torn down (its over forty years old and falling apart more with every rain storm).  They are living in a nicer home now, I hear, and with Rick working, a lot of pressure has been taken off of his family.  He is a saver.  He has a good bit of money saved to pay cash for his first car (some good habits – like not having debt- can come out of hardship).  He goes to work every morning between four and six with his dad, and gets off in the evenings between three and five.  
Regardless of your opinion on immigrants, here is the truth.  We have a group of people who have lived here most all of their lives. Many, like Rick, are bilingual, but significantly more fluent in reading English than their native language because that is what they were taught in school.  They are a significant, important part of our society.  For a time, many have had legal status to work and behave in American society as a contributor.  DACA is being receinded. It is in Congress’s hands to decide the fate of these young adults. My hope and prayer is that they will make a path to create a more perminant legal status for people who have been trained by our schools and cultures to be Americans.  My hope and prayer is that they will create a path to citizenship for those who would like to be a part of our nation.  My wish, is that we had as extensive of a vetting system for those of us born here, and that there was a place to deport some of them! (You think I’m joking, I’m not.)

There’s a part of me that wants to tell Rick to spend the next six months continuing to save. Then to pay a woman to marry him. He would make a great husband.  He is kind, and funny, and never harsh.  He works and cares well for his family. The problem is, we believe in God’s design for marriage: one man, one woman, no divorce. Fortunately, God loves Rick and his family. He will never forsake him. God has greater plans for Rick’s life than either of us can imagine, just like he does for all of my kids. So, I can only encourage him as I do all the others. Obey God, and get ready to be blown away by his goodness and providence.
Please, contact your legislators and encourage them to make a path for these people who trusted our government, trusted DACA. These people are vetted, they must renew every two years to the cost of over $400, background checks, finger printing and (for us) another trip to Nashville.  This isn’t a free loader program. It’s also not a permanent solution, and we need one that benefits both our economy and these people stuck in a situation they neither created nor can control.

Blessings!

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Today I dropped the box!

Today we are headed back to MD Anderson.  Tomorrow will hold a pet scan and several doctors visits.  I’ve been dreading this, not because of the trip, just because life has been normal for the last few days.  I’ve packed lunches and gone to the gym, discussed boyfriends and physics, listened to other people’s problems and worked.  Some of my friends helped me clean my house yesterday (not because had a cancer diagnosis, I’m domestically challenged on any given day) and it was great fun.

So today, the cancer box had to be opened as we were up at 4:00 (Cary was up.  I layed in bed for an extra 15 or 20 minutes). We kissed our kids goodbye (the ones who were up). We made sure notes were on the counter for the people staying at our house before loading in the car and heading south.  

The way this works is: You get a diagnosis, or new information & you Google it.  You check in to it, you find things out. You get information  (For me, this is a quick event because God has given me such peace and because no new sis good new, right!) Then, you remember that you have no control over this, but the one who can control it loves you desperately, and so you pray. You renounce cancer, you curse it, you choose to believe for healing.  You surround yourself with others who have seen God heal, who knows he is who he says he is.  You listen to their stories, you get filled up with faith, you get excited about what God is doing.  You check your thoughts and make sure Kingdom reality trumps earthly reality… But the thoughts creep in, for me it is when my ear starts hurting, or the pressure builds up in my head and I have to lay down. Sometimes when I see my kid being 7 and I want to cherish the moment, sometimes when I have to get up out of my warm bed to turn off a light that has been left on at midnight, or look at the Christmas ornaments, or wipe pee off the floor in the bathroom 😖, the thought sneaks in… “What if this is the last time?” Thankfully, so many people have sent Psalm 118:17 to me, that it is my quick replacement thought, “I shall not die, but live!” And I believe this!

  Today, though, the cancer disappeared.  The box got lost at the airport.  Cary and I were getting breakfast, and I was Jonesin’ for hot tea.  I left him to go look for Starbucks.  I saw a mom with two girls in a store.  Attached to her bag was a back brace, the kind I wore in 8&9th grades.  I couldn’t help but speak, “Hey, who does that belong to? I wore one of those for a year and a half.” Mom, “Really? The hardest thing is the clothes.” Me, “I know! At least yoga pants and big shirts are a look now.” “Yes, and jeggings give some diversity in style.”  We talked about the boys who liked to punch me in the stomach when I wore one because it didn’t hurt me, about the benefits of yoga and excercise to help with pain. When dad walked up we made jokes about body builders trying yoga for the first time.  We talked about loving people, about churches in Franklin, about middle school life and doctors at Vandy.  It was a great conversation. They thanked me for the encouragement.  If I had noticed I had dropped the cancer box, I would have thanked them for lightening my load.

That’s the way it is in life, people are a gift.  When we lose ourselves in other people, we also lose our labels, our false identities, our masks, and without knowing it, they lighten our load.  Walking on the Camino, I was always surprised and delighted that my feet would stop hurting when a new person would talk to me.  I would get lost in the details of their lives or in telling them my stories, and forget about the pain.  Emotoinal stuff no different.  It’s all in what you focus on.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not about stuffing or ignoring our issues to have them erupt out of our inner depths later, it’s about coming along side each other as we are each healing from our own pain and lies we believe.

I’m reminded of a story, I think Candy Christmas was the speaker.  Whoever it was, a woman was struggling with crippling depression.  Her doctor wanted her to go to a psychiatric hospital. She had prayed and prayed for God to deliver her from this illness, but relief didn’t come.  She had spent her life in ministry, she had all she needed & was thankful for her life, but the depression didn’t cease.  She was praying and heard Holy Spirit ask, “What are you good at?” She said, “I can cook.” God, “Go cook a huge pot of jambalaya and take it to a certain bridge.” She did as she was instructed.  Under that bridge were many homeless people.  She met a man who was called in to ministry and through twists and turns ended up living under the bridge.   She scooped out soup and prayed with people & the depression box dropped.  The depression went away.  There also started a church.  Every week, hundreds of people come to the bridge to eat some food, feed on Jesus, and drop their boxes.
Ooh! And I met a man in the airport who works on Seseme Street!  He creates the back drop for scenes shot in front of a green screen.  He also works on faith based films and local advertisement.  How cool is that.  I got his info.  I’m hoping to get an internship this summer for a special someone… We will see.
And for other great reading! I found The Letter by Michael Graff in Southwest The Magazine.  It’s a great read.  Have your tissues handy!

The internet mistake 

Posting this a couple of days after writing. I’ve been a little lost in my head and didn’t want to post in a confused state of mind. I’m all good now!

November 20, 2016 Tonight I did it. I googled Nasopharyngeal tumor. I learned a lot: they usually occur in Asian men who eat smoky meat and/work with formaldehyde, they are linked with Epstine Barr, they can be benign (usually in children), they are successfully treatable, they are hard to get to but operable & they can spread, usually aren’t found until later stages & a person can die. (But not this person!)

 This may have been a bad idea. I’m not the Web MD type. I typically ignore symptoms and push on. So, I had a thought, one of many I’ve refused to have since this started, “I want at least 4 more years. I want D to be old enough to remember me, I want time with my babies.” I quickly suppressed it and replaced it with “I want 60 more years! I want to see my great-great grandbabies.” But, it made it through.

I haven’t done anything to deserve my husband. He’s good on any given day, but through this, I’m beyond anything I deserve. Tonight I started having spasms in my jaw & I couldn’t get them to stop. Cary climbed behind me in bed, reclined me back on him and held my jaw in place so the muscles could relax. His touch just settles everything. He’s so strong and warm and safe. I don’t know how to be loved like this, but I’m thankful for the opportunity to experience it.

As I lay here, pain free, listening to him sleeping, tears streaming (but only on the right side b/c the left quit tearing a couple of weeks ago), I hear God say, “That’s a taste of my love. I’m going to show you even more, just watch me!” So I say thank you & I watch.

November 21 Today I haven’t had pain. I felt good all day & evening. I got a phone call from my cousin with a very specific word to declare Psalms 118 over myself. I’m claiming the scriptures! 

Psalms 118:15-19

Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: “The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!  The Lord’s right hand is lifted high;  the Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!”

I will not die but live,

and will proclaim what the Lord has done.  The Lord has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death.  Open for me the gates of the righteous;  I will enter and give thanks to the Lord.

It’s so easy to let fear creep in, but it profits me nothing, it only steals my joy today. 

My Moto the last few months has become: God is good! He does what he says he will do! I can trust him! 

He says I will live. I believe him. I’ve seen his mighty hand act on behalf of friends, family, strangers. I’ve seen withered hands unfold, I’ve seen shoulders healed, I’ve seen backs restored, I’ve seen knees restored, I’ve seen legs grow. I’ve received Holy Spirit’s revelation & wisdom. I don’t worship a dead God. My God is not indifferent! He loves me. He sings over me. He has placed bold believers in my life who stand with me. He heals. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. So I praise him!

This trial is a mere chapter in a book. It’s not the end! In Jesus’s name!

I’ve worried about so much crap

 We are in the airport in Houston waiting to fly home.  This morning the reality of what could be started to sink in.  This could be a major life event, this could be difficult, this could be gone when they get MRI results back (this is Deacon’s prediction).  This is the first time I remember not thinking into the future.  I don’t mean hopes and dreams, I mean my next meal, the next day, next week.  When I cook breakfast (hot cakes 30 seconds in the microwave) I’m thinking about where I am working for the day, spelling words, grocery lists. When I’m at the movies, I’m thinking about election forms and school districts.  When I’m driving down the road I may think of the what if’s. (Which is why I have already lived this scenario several times… it was worse in my head) I used to not sleep on Sunday nights because I would be up worrying about the schools I was working in the next week.  All of this is useless. A waste of energy.  I’ve known this & I’ve been improving, but I am still for the first time in my adult memory just here. I can’t plan my work weeks for the next month because I don’t know when I’ll be in town.  I can’t plan Christmas parties or advent messages.  I have to say, I like it. It’s a relief to not have the ability to micromanage my schedule.

I like being present.  I am decent at it when working.  I want to be better at it when I’m at home.  I remember laying on the couch watching Cheers with my mom as she rubbed my head.  I won’t really have those moments with my kids because I’m always doing or planning.  I want to change that. More time in the living room, less time exhausted from my life…

Cary prayed yesterday morning before we got out of bed, “Father, this day is yours…” I’ve prayed that prayer before, and often make up my mind to make it my every day prayer, but then life happens and I am back to my old habits.  I listened to a message by Alyn Jones about the Kind Messenger, that often God uses a kind messenger before sending a harder life lesson.  I don’t want to say that God is putting me here or causing this tumor, however he promises to work all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purposes.  I certainly believe he can use it to teach me & maybe this is the kind messenger. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/keeping-up-with-the-joneses/id878470120?mt=2&i=374676968

As long as I’m listing good habits.  I want to be more generous.  I day dream of giving large amounts of money or opportunity to people who can grow from it, but I know this habit starts small.  It starts with giving what you have to someone who needs.  I was talking with a friend last week after the election.  I was discussing my concern for people in nations that rely on our support, like Syria, that have no way to help themselves or save their children’s lives.   We also discussed that we will likely have larger tax returns next year with administration changes.  I don’t want to put that money back into my household.  (Actually, I do want to put that money into my household, we pay for college and another kid enters high school this year.)  Our family lives a comfortable life.  We, as Americans consume 26% of the things purchased on this earth, but we only make up 4% of the population.  If you are a US citizen, you earn more than the “rich people” in other places, you are the upper echelon.  If we are a believer in Christ, we are responsible to realize that & use your resources to reflect Christ.  And so you are in a position to do something to make a difference in the world. You don’t have to create an organization or raise a million dollars, but sow something, whatever something is on your heart.  I have friends who gave their car to a family in their church instead selling it.  It wasn’t worth a lot, but to a family without a car, it was of great value! My cousin works for an organization called Mercy Corps.  She is the reason I read articles about Yemen and I dream about raising enough money in my church in support a village for a year. She is the son I trust this organization to use my donation responsibly. Mercy Corps (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/yemen-hopeless-international-community_us_581ad480e4b08f9841ad63d4?qcaaeswwjthoj38fr) So, I challenge you to consider how you can invest in others. And I invite you to hold me accountable to this, otherwise my selfishness will take over.
Blessings to you friends. Thanks for reading.

Appointments

People need to be seen.  Everyone here is so nice. It’s even more impressive than I heard. They take special care to know your name, and to say hello and goodbye. It matters. I need to remember that if I ever own/run a business. 

I met the man who built/designed the medical building were sitting 20 years ago. He was sitting beside me as a patient in the first waiting room. (He appreciated the irony of it as much as I did.) We met with Dr. Demonte, he is a scull base specialist (seriously, that’s his area of expertise). You sign in on an iPad and they text you instructions. They’ve done a brilliant job of using technology, but keeping things personal. 

After discussion, the next steps are finish the tests scheduled today, get a biopsy, and form a plan. The plan implementation won’t begin until after Thanksgiving. 

Dr. Demonte said there is a panel of about 60 people who work to form the plan of action. That’s crazy! A nurse told us the way this works. On Thursday evening, staff meets in a big room and each tells about their cases & how they think they can help the person. Synergy at its best!

I met woman from Dubai who is here with her son who is having treatments. His brothers are with him too. She’s very proud of her burka from Spain. It’s metal and I’m sure allow her to see better. They are a sweet & have invited me to visit. Unfortunately, we don’t speak enough of each other’s language to nail down flight details.😏✈️

Fadma from Dubai

Note to self: start learning/remembering more about eye contact in other countries. I think I freak people out sometimes.

Scan me in, Scotty! I scanned myself in with a scanner like they have at Kroger to the lab. The lab tech called back 4 of us at a time. It’s quite an organized operation.

I can’t feel my face when I’m with Su, but I like her…  Dr. Su is a neck and head specialist. I think she is the one who is charged with figuring out what this thing is. My visit started with another retelling of when my symptoms started, what they are & checking for muscle weakness. Yet again I recognize that many of the problems I’ve had physically the last few years were linked to this. And it sparks hope of a better quality of life. 

The resident under her sprayed stuff up my nose that had me numb down to my vocal chords and the roof of my mouth. It tasted terrible, but did the job. Then they ran a long scope smaller than a 1/8 of an inchwide up my nose, down my throat and through my brain, I think. They took me in the next room and ran a couple of things up my nose and took a biopsy of the tumor. I almost passed out. Things started going black, but they got what they needed. (Don’t think this is too dramatic. I did the same thing during my mammogram & that was a cake walk. It was painful.) Thankfully, dad was there to raise my feet above my head, which did the trick. The neat part is, my family got to watch it on a screen.

So we have a sample. It will be another week or so before we find anything out. We will be home to eat turkey. We will be back in Houston in a few weeks.

I ended my medical day with an MRI  It lasted an hour. As I was laying there, before I fell asleep, I was thinking of what a blessing this is. I am so thankful for the workers who have cared for me, for the friends and strangers who have supported us with encouraging messages and prayers & just reading these blogs. I’m thankful for The peace of God that continues to suround me every moment.  What really has my heart stirring is the people who have gone before, those who faced cancer and other medical difficulties and allowed the medical community to learn from their experience so we can know what we know, so others can live. Thank you.
I have to share this funny story. We Ubered to dinner. Our driver was great! Tomorrow, he is retiring with 21 years in the military. He works in a lab doing cancer research. He has been doing Uber since September. He told this story of his first night driving:  He picked up a group of college kids from a bar. He said there were a ton of them. He told one of the guys he was in the military. 

Kid:   I could take you.       

Driver: Take me where?      

Kid:  I could take you. I could kick your butt.                                   

Driver: Ha, you think so?                 

Kid: Yeah! I could take you. I play Call of Duty!                                 

Driver: Yeah ok, you bring it. 

MD Anderson 

I’m writing from the Plane          As we pulled out of the driveway Cary said, “Well you haven’t woken me up to say this is just a dream, so I guess we are going to do this.

Everything I hear about MD Anderson is positive. I haven’t made it there yet, but all my interactions thus far have been positive. I’ve learned a lot. 

They first called me on my way out of the hospital from getting my MRI results to get health insurance information and start working to set up an appointment time.  I haven’t ever really been sick before, so the slowness of medical time is new to me and it is foreign.  Don’t take this to mean MD Anderson is slow, quite the opposite.  I am in awe of how quickly they have gotten me in and how efficiently they operate. To explain: my appointment is tomorrow, Friday, at 9:00 in the morning. I called to try to figure out when to get a flight home.  I was expecting an explanation like, “You should be done by 3:00.” What I got was, “We tell people to plan to be here 3-5 days.” What! Well, ok.  They did look at my chart and told me I could leave Saturday evening, probably.

There’s an App for That Seriously, there is an MD Anderson app.  They way it works is you set up an account online.  They send an email saying you have a message.  You go check the message.  Eventually there will be lab reports and other things there.  Most of my messages are about surveys and appointment times, which are adding up. So far: 9:00 initial visit stuff, 9:30 brain doctor, 10:00 lab work, 12:00 neck and head doctor (this appointment is 15 minutes). (As a friend said, if they are trying to fix my head it will take a lot longer than 15 minutes. And that is why I love her!) 1:00 nuclear medicine injection, 3:00 full body bone scan, 4:45 MRI of my face.

Housing I think there are 6 hospitals within walking distance of each other.  It is a serious medical community.  There is a website Joeshouse.org that helps patients find affordable housing for their stay because most everything is outpatient.  We are staying in a 2 bedroom apartment.  It think that’s a great deal & we can walk to the hospital. I’ve heard everything is connected by skywalk. Kind of sounds like the Jetsons.  Maybe they will suck us through a tube from one place to another.

The apartment complex where we are staying. Elan Med Center