Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Where do we go from here?

I know.  Ireland!

If you have been following along on the old blog here you know that a group of some fantastic human beings put something together for Denise and myself. A once in a lifetime trip to Ireland.  But, there was two things holding us back.  We needed to make sure that Denise was done with chemo and also that her cardiologist felt that everything was good with her afib.  But let's rewind to yesterday first.

Since the beginning of this year, Mondays have come to mean two things.  First, Archer reruns on Comedy Central and or course chemo.  But for the past several weeks we hadn't gone to chemo because Denise finished her cycles.  So when we got in the car yesterday and made the trek north to the Cleveland Clinic, it was like getting back into the swing of things.  We had to go early because it was Denise's follow-up CAT scan first thing then meet with her oncologist to go over the results.  As you can imagine, Denise was pretty nervous about the whole thing.  I was too, but, didn't want it to show.  "What if it came back" was the thoughts on our minds.  So after the scan we had breakfast and awaited the doctor at 11.  We decided to go check in with him early in hopes we could get it over with quickly.  We were in luck.  About 10:40 he popped out in the waiting area and called us back.  He took us in a room, sat down and started asking Denise the usual routine questions.  Then he stopped and said, "Oh, by the way, the results of the scan are clean, you're good", then continued on.  He knew we were nervous.  Talk about a weight taken off our shoulders.  When he was done we asked if we are okay for travel and he gave us a thumbs up!  He rushed off to care for another patient and I forgot to ask the most important question, is she cancer free?  J, the nurse practitioner and Doctor M's right-hand/enforcer was also in the room and I asked her, "Can we say the words cancer free".  A huge smile filled her face and she said yes.  My heart lept with joy!  You could just see the expression on Denise's face change to one of peace.  She did it.  She kicked it's ass!  As we were driving away from the clinic, it hit me hard.  I was finally able to step down for a few minutes and let go of everything I was holding back for 8 months.  Boy did that feel good, but not recommended when driving through a major metropolitan area.  I get to keep my wife, my best friend for a while longer.  Cancer was not getting her.  So to celebrate we headed off to one of our favorite restaurants and afterwards take a leisurely drive through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.  We stopped at Brandywine Falls and went for a little walk.  This picture of us describes it best.

  Our friend Mandi commented "I've missed that smile and light in your eyes, Denise! So glad to have you back!"  You're not the only one, Mandi ;-)

So now that we had the oncologist's blessing, we still needed to talk to the cardiologist.  Luckily, Denise had an appointment at his office today for a follow-up EKG.  But when we got there, we found out he wasn't in the office until the afternoon.  We told the nurse the plan about Ireland, but we were afraid to commit to a schedule until we got his thoughts on going into a pressurized cabin 40,000 feet into the air for several hours.  She promised that she would ask.  Also, her EKG is perfect. 
Well, we got the call a little bit ago and we got his blessing.  So....
We're going to Ireland.
With that news, I sent a note off to the peoples over there to get the ball rolling.  A BRILLiant travel agent needs to be consulted first. Wow.  Holy crap.  We're going to Ireland.
But like these events of the past several months, I want to capture it all somehow.  I want to make sure I have a forum to catalog and list out all the details of this once in a lifetime blessing.  
However will I do that?
Wait.  I have an idea! (<---click there!)

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