Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I Went

It may have taken everything I had inside, which there's not much left, but I actually did go to Seattle. I got back late last night, but early enough to fall asleep snuggling with my boys. It now seems like I was gone a very long time, in a very far away place, and I keep thinking it's Monday. Well, at least it's a little change-up.

To all of you who have posted, emailed, called and texted to offer your support and prayers, it worked! I do sometimes feel that without this incredible energy sent to me that perhaps I wouldn't go through with some things. That's not coming out right, but I think you know what I mean.

Such a quick flight over, which is preferred by control freaks like me, and voila, I am in Seattle! My sister-in-law, Angie, picked me up, after I figured out I had told her the wrong airline, and we were on our way in her adorable blue Bug. Yes, I punched her arm on behalf of Craig, John Paul, and Brennan. As we were driving along, we passed a Sizzler. A Sizzler!!!!! Hadn't been to one in twenty years or so (scary) and it turned out that her husband, Jim, also ranks the Siz as a fave.

As we visited at linner, it was like avoiding talking about the pink elephant in the room. But it was nice to see them and it was generous of her to play taxi and ensure I was fed. It was time for me to go and check in at the hotel. I was crashing. I was exhausted and I was turning inwards (one of my worst qualities) as I recognized what I was actually there for.

I was asleep as soon as I had turned the tv on and laid atop the bed. A couple of hours later I woke up and continued texting my friend Paul, a former Spokanite. The plan was that i would meet Paul and his wife, Gina, for dinner. But it was clear that I was zapped and socially empty, so getting together was put off to Monday.

It's Monday morning and I have been up for hours. I dress in my armour clothes and make-up. It is my feeble attempt to not look sick and to level the playing field. Fred Hutch has been calling Craig's cell phone to add appointments onto my patient "itinerary". Finally they realize it would be best to call my cell, the schedule is changed and my day starts earlier. The shuttle at the hotel explains that I would have to take the shuttle downtown and then be dropped off at SCCA on the way back. I start walking.

The SCCA/Fred Hutch campus is really pretty incredible. It takes up several blocks in length and width. The architecture is cool and I love that all the buildings are red brick, balancing a modern design. Lots of trees, grass, bushes. It's either green or red no matter where you look. But they do have some signs just in case you have wandered into Cancer Land unintentionally.

I pause to take a photo of myself, as I am stepping onto the Clinic grounds. So do I look different than my self-portrait before I left the hotel? I look at the building and those damn doors. They are open at first glance, some eery way of telling me to come in. Then they are closed again, yet I know I have to go down there and make them open again, for me.

In fact, for you doubters, I walked in.

I will write later about what all the fun I had. But I am both short on time (time to pick up the boys) and I am also hoping I can convey what it FEELS like, not just what happens there. It's not just any building or any doors. You've followed how much I didn't even want to go to Seattle, just a City. It all becomes more than just a place or a thing. They trigger that "something" that we try to swallow down as far as we can and admit to no one.

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