Ups and downs

I’ve been on many roller coasters over the years, but few can compare with the ups and downs experienced while getting cancer out of our lives.  Events of this past week will give an idea of what the ride is like.


Jinni had her last chemo infusion last Friday.  In a celebratory mood, I went and bought her a bouquet before picking her up at the Cancer Center that afternoon.  While she is normally drowsy following  each treatment I expected she would be pleased with herself and exit the place triumphantly – but she was subdued even beyond the effects of the antihistamines they add to the weekly infusions.  She was worried about a lump that had formed under her left armpit.


Having noticed the lump a couple of weeks prior, Jinni was going to speak to her surgeon to have it checked out but her scheduled appointment was not until early September.  However, this past Wednesday she had a post-chemo appointment with her oncologist and she let him know of her concerns.  Raising the concern level even higher, after detecting the mass himself he called Jinni’s surgeon to get her in to see him the next day.


I had a long-put-off trip planned to Charlotte for Thursday and Friday that I could not get out of, so a friend agreed to go with her to the appointment in my stead.  I made Jinni promise to call me while the doctor was examining her during the 2:30 appointment.


2:30 came and went.  Then 3:30.  Then I called her cell and got her voice mail.  “Crap…”, I thought, “its bad news or she would have called by now.”  A few minutes later my cell rang – it was Jinni, “I don’t have much time because I’ve got to get over an pick up Josie from school… but everything’s fine.  It was another fluid filled cyst like the one I had back in June and they have drained it.”  “OK”, I said, “I love you.  Call me later”  I had to stop fixing windows and sit down a minute.


Yesterday Jinni made a rare Saturday trip to the grocery.  Wearing a baseball cap over her still emerging hair, a lady recognized her while shopping the aisles of the Harris-Teeter.  The woman said she had been following Jinni’s cancer battle through Jinni’s Journal in the N&R and expressed how much she appreciated the articles.  More small talk ensued and they went their separate ways.


Waiting in the checkout line, Jinni said out loud to the cashier that she had picked out a lot more groceries than she intended and noticed the store manager lingering nearby waiting for the bagger to load everything up.  When checkout was completed the cashier said it would be $96.00.  The manager immediately approached the cash register and informed Jinni that she was to keep her money in her purse because arrangements had been made for the purchase by an anonymous customer.


I’m telling you folks, its a roller coaster ride.  In the space of three days we have experienced the depths of fearful uncertainty as well as the seemingly never-ending grace of human kindness.


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When Jinni arrived home and told me the story, I suggested that next time she might want to consider shopping in Bill Black’s Cadillac dealership or similar.

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