Carrie and I are still in Houston, TX and have been since the middle of October. We were to have left here on 12/12, but, as doctors’ have it, we won’t see Houston in the rear view mirror until 2/20.
We received plenty of Christmas Cards this year, and unfortunately, this hasn’t been much of a holiday season for us – but, we are together and laughing every day. Hopefully, next year we’ll get back into the spirit and send cards from our home address.
Carrie has been cooking up a storm here in our quaint apartment.
We have lots of places to shop and eat and there are many international grocery stores, too. When we are in a mode to explore, we get in the car and go to a Hong Kong, Jerusalem, India, Japan, Korea, Middle East, Europe, Mexico or Mainland China via their grocery stores. It puts things into perspective that Houston is home to over 6 million people and from all over the world. This place is a petri dish of cultures, while some are into BBQ and Cajun, it is and an example of what the world has to look forward to when we finally do away with boarders.
I just wish they didn’t like to litter so much.
We may have recently won the war against the family of extended generations of cock roaches that lived in our apartment long before our arrival. This morning was our first kitchen visit when we were the first to arrive.
Finally no sign of life.
We have had our kitchen sink repaired for leaks once, and then the garbage disposal was replaced shortly after. There was no sense of urgency on behalf of the property management – so I tracked down the maintenance man myself.
We have bonded.
And, then there is the cute couple across the hall with a full grown pit bull dog. But, after all, someone has to look after the motorcycle parked in their living room.
Monday was a big day for both of us. We started counting down from 38 to 1. Monday was day 38 and February 19th is day 1. And, on that day, we will return the apartment key, Comcast modem and cable box, pack up the Tully and the Highlander, go to MDAnderson, receive my final Proton Treatment, give the staff cookies and cakes, ring the ceremonial Chinese gong, probably cry as we say our last goodbye.
We will drive like the wind on Friday the 20th of February and by Tuesday evening we will be in our own home and we will “go to bed, tired but happy,” (my favorite quote from Gerry Hills).
By the time we will have gotten home, we will have logged over 6,000 miles and a third of a year away from family and friends. We will reminisce having missed everyone during Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and even MLK day. But, more importantly we will know just how fortunate we are that my cancer was treatable. Life deals us unexpected and sometimes unwelcomed challenges. We are aware that this blow was a light thumping from God compared to others we have met while waiting our turn in many doctors’ offices and clinics since our arrival. Since the diagnosis we have learned that others were not so lucky. When you consider the children I see daily at MDAnderson – we am very lucky to have found this cure.
2009, we welcome you,
Rick & Carrie Stanfield