I have a post all started about where things are with scheduling a second opinion, but before I can post that, I need to address something.
People are freaking amazing. I am daily humbled, bewildered, astounded, and breathlessly overwhelmed with the magnitude of the response to our situation. From seemingly every corner of the globe, every chapter of our lives, of our parents’ lives, friends and family have stepped forward to support us however they can.
I’m going to try my best to recognize as many people as I can here, but please go into this knowing that there are literally hundreds of people out there who have helped us in some way or another. Another caveat: I am realizing now how VERY VERY out of it I was for most of the time I was in the hospital. At the time, I felt totally aware and with it, but looking back, I literally cannot remember anyone who visited (and I know there were a fair number of people!) unless Peter gives me a specific detail about the visit that I can vaguely remember. So anything that happened within that timeframe, please know that I was and am deeply appreciative of your incredibly kind gestures, even if I am now looking at the jar of delicious spiced nuts you gave me, wondering who it was who made them (seriously, if it was you, please speak up! They are so yummy!). So here’s my feeble attempt. If I fail to call you out by name, know that we are so grateful for you.
First, our parents. Their constant love and willingness to come out at the drop of a hat is nothing short of life- and sanity-saving. My parents have been helping to shuttle both Peter and Emmie to school (Peter is returning to work for the first time since his head injury in February), take me to doctor’s appointments, and generally help corral Emmie when Peter and I both need to collapse into bed. My dad has also been spearheading Campaign Memorial Sloan-Kettering, helping me make phone calls I don’t want to make, connecting with his truly *incredible* network of friends who have been stunningly, stunningly generous with expertise, financial support, and offers of open-ended support for the future. Our families at large have also been incredible. My family has already suffered the loss from melanoma of my father’s saintly cousin Nancy, who was our matriarch and truly an incredible woman. It’s such a cruel twist of fate that it should strike again in our family, and such a coincidence that she and I shared a birthday. They have all shown such support to help me in every way to do our damnedest to make sure it doesn’t take me too.
Our friends. Oh, where do I even start? Jill has been a glorious little general, marshaling the troops when I was unconscious, and taking care of all the little details so Peter and I didn’t have to worry about those things. My other amazing field-marshals: Jen W., Caitlin, Amy F., Arwen, and Maija.
Then the troops themselves. Oh, you wondrous, marvelous troops! From Jackie, sending me a card LITERALLY every day, to Uncle Jim & Aunt Jude, Arwen, Katie, Jen K., my office, and all the others who have sent or given us flowers that have brightened our home and my hospital room. Our neighbors who watched Jasper while I was in the hospital, and all the friends who have joined the “meal train” to bring us food to keep our bodies healthy and nourished. And the countless people who have contributed their hard-earned dollars to the fund started by Jen W. to help us pay for a second opinion, and whatever else might come with that. I truly cannot tell you how deeply and profoundly each of you has touched us with your collective generosity. People are so, so good.
Now, I have something deeply embarrassing to confess… Tonight, our dear friends Carrie and Jonathan brought us an amazing and delicious dinner, and as we were chatting, we discussed how I can’t really remember anything from the hospital. Apparently they visited me…? And then Jonathan says, laughingly, “I bet you don’t remember how we played cards.” I completely think he is teasing me, just making something up because I won’t remember it, but NO! Apparently we DID play cards and I supposedly did pretty well and was even being sneaky and strategic. I have absolutely NO memory of any of this and it’s all rather terrifying.
So this really brings home for me that I know a lot of people visited me in the hospital (or did nice things for me while I was there), and if you are one of those people, there is a VERY HIGH PROBABILITY (like, almost 100%, except for Anna, who I can remember was there while I was puking rght after surgery and I’m SO SORRY for that and I am so grateful that you were able to be there for me during such a horrible time. And I’m SORRY!) that I have no recollection of anything that happened. I would be very grateful if you wanted to send me a quick note or email letting me know what you did so I can express my gratitude to you, and also maybe piece together some of that week. Oy!
Hopefully more on my recovery and our progress toward a second opinion tomorrow, after I’m done wiping my tears of gratitude for all of our amazing community (seriously, many a tear has been shed here lately!).