One year ago this week, Carrie-Anne and I met with our doctors at M.D. Anderson in Houston for the first time after her breast cancer diagnosis. Now, after 12 months, 16 chemotherapy treatments at the Allison Center here in Midland, eight trips to H-Town, and three surgeries, we’re done. It is finished. Over. Yesterday’s last reconstructive surgery went well and we couldn’t be more thankful. Thankful to God, thankful for our friends and family, thankful for healing and peace, thankful for the good people our Lord has placed in front of us every step of the way.
When we got to Houston Sunday afternoon, we did what we always do: drove immediately to Pappasito’s for dinner. Actually, we go to Pappasito’s if we’re anywhere near one and we’ve been to the one across from NRG Stadium eight times. The Texans had just completed their crazy win over the Cardinals and the place was packed with Texans fans in their Texans gear. It was fun to be in the middle of their celebration, talking about C.J. Stroud, congratulating them on their three-game winning streak. They were so giddy, nobody noticed C-A was wearing her Texas Rangers American League Championship t-shirt.
Well, one person noticed. The lady sitting at the table right behind us was wearing an Astros West Division Championship shirt that featured Alex Bregman’s quote about never knowing what would happen if Houston didn’t win the division. Obviously, these shirts were made and sold before the Rangers beat the Astros in the ALCS and seem a little silly to be wearing now in the aftermath of the Rangers World Series title. A friendly conversation was initiated between Carrie-Anne and this nice, but misguided woman, and a picture was taken to commemorate the exchange.
The surgery was yesterday morning and, again, it went perfectly. The doctors and nurses are over-the-top wonderful in every way and our experience was about as good as it could be. Carrie-Anne is super sore today — don’t make her laugh yet — and it’s going to take at least the rest of the week for her to walk straight up without pain. But this is one determined chick. Through this whole ordeal, not one part of It has gotten her down. She’s amazing, this woman. Her motto has become, “Whaddaya gonna do?” But she does it — all of it — with grace and grit, with incredible faith and strength. She’s beautiful in a million ways and more inspiring and magnificent every day.
Coincidentally, my sister Sharon and our brother-in-law Brent were at M.D. Anderson this morning for one of his lymphoma treatments, so we spent an hour or so with them today in the Mays building, four floors up from where C-A had her surgery 24 hours earlier. Brent has responded miraculously to his treatments — the doctors are telling him that the lymphoma is gone. And we praise God for that, too. Our Father is blessing us beyond anything we deserve and we are all so thankful.
It’s good to be home. It’s good that we get to sleep in a bit tomorrow. And it’s good that, by God’s grace, we’re on the other side of this thing.