I hate sending out mass updates because it’s, well, a mass email. But I don’t have the ability to talk to you all in person or make 100 phone calls today without having a meltdown, so we’re going with email. I suggest that you don’t read this while you’re driving or carrying a tray of glasses.
To make an excessively long story short (it started with the doctor on Thursday morning, so not that long, but it really feels like it), I’m currently sitting in my bed at the Prentice Women’s Hospital at Northwestern Memorial (the best in Chicago, although I’m sure the rivalry with U. Chicago is strong) after they found a sizeable mass in my chest sitting above and in front of my heart like an incredibly un-festive Christmas hat. It’s currently just sitting there, but it is restricting some of my major blood vessels, so I’m inpatient for a while. I’ve undergone/undergoing all sorts of tests and scans and minor surgeries (biopsy, ouch, and procedure to drain excess fluid around my heart, gross and ouch and necessary) to be continued through the weekend, with more information to follow. However, the doctors are about 95% sure that this is some kind of lymphoma. In the same breath that they tell us that they’re 95% sure of what this is, they are also very confident of a fast (relatively) treatment and recovery period. Essentially, they’ve seen it before and know how to treat it. The pathology report is due tomorrow or Tuesday, so we’ll know details then. Prentice is the newest (adult) center around…it mostly delivers babies, but it’s also where the oncology section is. I have a beautiful view of the lake, a flat screen for the Eurocup final, and food that I can order like room service.
Thank god for my loving husband. Michael is paying attention when I’m not, or can’t; he is asking all the right questions; he is keeping a google doc tick-tock of everything that’s going on; and he has activated his network with fairly amazing results but needs a good nights sleep and a massage. Our friends Ellen and Liz deserve a spa weekend (but only once I can join them), and my immediate family is as always extraordinary.
The office continues to break all “Big Law” stereotypes and has been wonderful. Immediate colleagues have been kind and supportive, and the firm’s higher ups have done what they can do for me with their contacts at Northwestern and beyond.
I spend much of my time keeping myself calm, entertained (usually with help: I played the funniest card game of “war” in my life on Friday…then had a meltdown on Saturday which Michael and I solved by finding the Olympic trials on tv), and breathing (this all started with shortness of breath, and that has not changed), but there is no way to deny that this is incredibly shocking, overwhelming, and frightening.
Relevant details: I have my cell phone. I can’t accept flowers or plants (my immune system is fine, but others on the floor are not so lucky) but will gladly take balloons, toy cars, dark chocolate, books, and cards (although sending me your love is really all I want), and if you live in Chicago and don’t mind that I haven’t washed my hair in a week (it’s in braids) and that I’m somewhat prone to meltdowns at the moment, I would love visitors…Michael and I are trying to figure out how to sneak the cats in, but I’m fairly sure that if I’m not allowed flowers, animals are also off the list.
Much love to you all,