This was going to be a quick update. Mostly about the week and Abi’s decisions. But then - water on her lungs and clots in internal jugulars and hospital admissions, and the whole post sort of collapsed on itself.
Or did it?
I’m sure we’ll recap the hospital visit at some point. But for some, it still might be worthwhile to catch up on the week. Here’s what happened.
Quick hitter today. I know that many of you are so curious to hear how this week went, and about Abi’s decisions - especially given the teaser last week.
But here’s what you need to know first:
Saturday afternoon, Abi and Marcia made their first batch of snickerdoodles. (Side note: She was making them when we got the call back from her nurse urging her to go to the hospital. She and Marcia finished the batch before we left. Of course.)
Next weekend, the Ohio Mayers will be in Virginia Beach. They’ll celebrate Abi and John’s first family Christmas of 2018.
On the twenty-sixth, Chris and Victoria arrive. Virginia Christmas, complete with inappropriate white elephant gifts, boulingas bacalao, and traditional green and red lycra body suits on the twenty-seventh. (Don’t ask.)
On the twenty-eighth, Abi celebrates her twenty-eighth birthday. Her golden birthday.
Two night later, Abi and John host their annual New Year’s Eve JAM (John and Abi Mayer…get it?)
The holidays are here. Have you any doubts as to what’s on Abi’s mind right now?
December has always been Abi’s month. Christmas has always been Abi’s season. The season for loving and compassion. The season for Abi's truths.
We met with Dr. Jones and Dr. McGaughey on Monday.
Decision made. Abi is completely focused on feeling as well as she can for her season. She will undergo the radiation treatment to address the constricted bronchial tube to her left lung because the doctors assure her it will help her to feel better. Feel better soon. Feel better for the arrival of the Mayers and for Chris and Victoria and feel better for Christmas and her birthday and for this year’s JAM. They assure her she will get some of her wind back. Despite the radiation - maybe even have more energy. This was the easy decision.
She hasn’t decided on the radiation for her skull. Dr. Jones is developing a specific treatment plan with her physicist, and when it’s done - when she can better answer questions about how likely it is to succeed, what success looks like, and the side effect profile will look like - then Abi will decide. Abi has concerns about fatigue. About the possibility of radiation burns that might make her more uncomfortable and affect her disposition. Get in the way of her kindness,
Bottom line: Unless she’s confident that treatment will help her to love more freely, to accept love from those around her, and give her more freedom to do what she chooses this season, she won’t do it. She won’t compromise this month.
Not going to happen.
She also saw an ENT doctor on Thursday to determine what might be done to get her voice back. It seems that neither of her vocal cords are working right now (she’s communicating by whispering and white board. Not ideal, but she gets her points across.) Because neither is working, though, the procedure that might give her some of her voice is more complicated. A couple of hours in the OR and an overnight stay in the hospital. Another decision to be made. She’s still weighing this one. If she decides to do this, then it will likely be done in the next three weeks.
On more thing. As for the next round of chemotherapy, the decision on that will wait until after the JAM. Dr. McGaughey was pretty clear that it will make her feel “crappy.” Crappy is simply unacceptable this month.
Maybe crappy will be okay January. Maybe it won’t. But that may be a bigger discussion. The truth is, Abi has already been through two different chemotherapy treatments. The first one lasted over a year. The second one - not quite as long, but both of them took their toll. The success rates for second and third-line chemo treatments aren’t great. And any decision she makes on how to proceed will reflect her truths.
That much you can be sure of.
Post Script: Nothing about Abi’s current hospitalization really changes anything here. Speaking to the doctor this morning, she will be able to start her radiation just as soon as she’s discharged. Assuming she’s discharged by Tuesday, as planned, the delay will be minimal. If there’s any impact, I guess it would be on the vocal cord procedure, and I’m only speculating on that. I wonder if she’ll have much of an appetite for another hospital stay in a couple of weeks after this one.
But in case you hadn’t noticed, Abi’s nothing if not a fighter.