After a nice hiatus from planning over the holidays, we are in full preparation mode for a family deployment of sorts. Francis originally was scheduled for surgery in Houston on February 15, which meant we would likely need to be in Houston by February 13. Just last week, the physician’s assistant for Dr. Keith Fournier, Francis’s surgeon, called to ask if we could move the procedure up to earlier that week.
So, the procedure is now scheduled for February 13. Did we get upset/stressed/worried? Goodness, no! (Thank you, Pete the Cat. If you’re not familiar, listen here. A great lesson about going with the flow.) I’m doing my best to try not to get too stressed out about any of this – not easy. Realistically I’m a miserable failure, but I’m not giving up yet!
We plan to leave Tallahassee on February 9 or 10 and drive part of the way to Houston before finishing up the drive in time to be there for Francis to have blood work done at some point on the 11th.
I’ll go through the big logistical items about which we’re most frequently asked.
HOUSING: We’ve entered into a short-term lease in an apartment building near the Houston Medical Center that caters to medical stays. They have a three-bedroom, furnished unit that will be “home” for Couper, Riley, and me when Francis is at the hospital and all of us just before the surgery and the week or so following discharge from the hospital before we’re cleared to journey back home.
CHILDCARE: Thanks to the continued support of both of our families and friends, we’re covered here once again. My mom will be flying to Houston to stay as long as we need her, although we’re all hoping it’s shorter than we’re planning. If she needs to get back to work after several weeks with us, we have many more family members and several friends who have also offered to help us with Couper and Riley.
CATS: I’ve mentioned before how great our babysitter is. ‘elissa, in Couper speak (Melissa), has become a very important part of our family. She’s smart, warm, kind, energetic, loving, and a wonderful young woman who we’re sure makes her parents very proud. She has agreed to stay at our house while we’re gone and take care of our two cats. We’re thrilled to have someone we trust taking care of them and also keeping the house “lived in” while we aren’t here.
MAIL: Having moved twice in a nine month period, we’ve discovered that mail forwarding isn’t a perfect system. I still wonder how much mail didn’t get to us and marvel at how much mail we have gotten for the previous tenant of our apartment and now owner of our home. That said, we’ve decided to have Melissa fill a FedEx box with our mail and send it to us periodically. I trust Melissa and FedEx more than the U.S. Postal Service who lost $15.9 billion during the last fiscal year, but I digress.
While February seems to be quickly approaching in terms of preparing a family of four to move for approximately two months and every day I wish we had a bit more time to prepare, when it comes to getting rid of Francis’s cancer it feels like an eternity. So, we need plans to continue to fall into place quickly and Francis’s cancer to pause its progress or disappear on its own between now and February 13.
I think that about covers where we are right now. We continue to be excited, hopeful, anxious, and terrified about what lies ahead. We thank you for your continued support, concern, and prayers.