Before October 1, 2017, I had last been in Houston in the summer of 1977. Then, I had been part of the First Baptist Church Greenville, MS youth choir and I had no responsibility for driving or navigating. Lynette had never been to Houston. Navigating a new, VERY big, city, while also navigating MD Anderson was a challenge. I had long since learned to let Lynette do the driving most of the time, not because I’m a particularly bad driver, but because driving helped her feel “in control.” We found our motel, with the help of Google Maps and its GPS function. I navigated, while Lynette drove. She was anxious driving too, but she could live with that much anxiety. Fortunately, the motel offered a shuttle van to MD Anderson. Neither of us knew how large MD Anderson was or how many buildings it has. We got off the van at the “main” hospital, then found that our appointment was in a different building. Both of us had navigated O’Hare and Hartsfield/Jackson airports before, which helped a lot. MD Anderson is HUGE. Bora Lim was the medical oncologist we saw. She exudes confidence. The research protocol she wanted to enroll us in was a “chemotherapy, plus” protocol, the “plus” being the study medicine. We would have been in Houston several days a week for two months or more. Lynette began crying when the plan was explained to her. We had agreed that our goal was for both of us to attend Sarah’s graduation from Millsaps on May 5, 2018. We were willing to do a lot to make that goal, but neither of us were sure that was how we wanted to spend the next three to four months. Lynette said “I want to have time with my family.” We completed the initial labwork and scans for qualifying for the study, but Lynette did not sign the consent for enrollment that day. Both of us needed to think about it and we both wanted to consult with her doctors back at UMMC before we proceeded.
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