M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Visit
~ Part Two ~
After my BFF’s tests were completed in Houston, we headed back to her house in El Paso, and the next day I came home to the California Central Coast. While I was out of town, our drought-ravaged area was deluged with days of fast and furious rain. My husband called me one night while I was in Houston to tell me our backyard had turned into a lake that threatened to flow into the house. He tried to sound calm, but I knew he was a nervous-wreck. Luckily, the drains could do their job when the rain slowed down. As I write this, there’s people on my roof repairing the storm damage.
A few days after my homecoming, Houston was slammed by a tornado. The cancer center was not damaged, but Nina and I are grateful to have missed the storm!
Nina had a virtual visit with her cancer doc in Houston, and her tests confirmed what Dr. Lee had suspected on our first visit with him. Her Multiple Myeloma is actually “Smoldering Multiple Myeloma.” This is an early form of Multiple Myeloma. With luck, it may never spark into full-blown MM.
At the time of her original diagnosis, Nina thought she had two to five years. She kept trying to get into remission, and it wasn’t working. She was living a secluded life and was unable to travel. She did infusions and many other cancer drugs for nearly two years. One of them damn near killed her one night. Now, she is off all the drugs. Including infusions! She will get regular blood work done, and if there are any changes, they will treat it as needed.
Now she is free to live her life! First, there will be trips to visit grandkids. Then a trip to visit me!
In my kitchen – 1966. 15 years-old. I’m the looney-looking one with braces.
The takeaway from this experience, at least for me, is to get a second opinion. Nina’s El Paso Oncologist is a wonderful doctor, but she is not a Multiple Myeloma specialist. There are over 200 types of cancer—breast cancer, colorectal, bladder, leukemia, colon cancer, etc. The average oncologist sees about twenty patients per day. So, it makes sense that after you get a cancer diagnosis; you see an oncologist specializing in that cancer. Nina’s Houston doctor and staff only deal with Multiple Myeloma.
Here we are a few years ago on our way to American Idol.
But that’s a story for another day.
Yup – we are not natural blonds!
Recently, Nina (left) grew out her natural hair color.
A gorgeous Platinum silver.
One last note…
Folks in Texas are incredibly kind, polite, and wonderful. I have never met so many friendly people. For example: When we went to the Houston Airport to return home, our cab driver, after we’d paid and tipped him, grabbed all our luggage and ran it into the airport to the check-in desk and hugged us goodbye.