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Mayo Clinic Quality Time

2016 April 2
by Curmudgeon

As we drew ever closer to Rochester the enormity of why we’re taking this trip took on fresh clarity. As the miles passed Janice admitted to nervous “butterflies” (my words not hers). We found ourselves discussing it’s real, and it’s gonna happen starting tomorrow morning. Whoa!19

We found the Mayo Clinic building that the next day would begin in and then found our motel. After hauling our stuff in and unpacking there were phone calls, texts and Facebook updates to keep people up to speed (actually to let them know we didn’t crash and burn along the way). Then we found food, topped off the gas tank, located a liquor store and appeased my curmudgeonly self with Newcastle Brown Ale.

Janice crawled into bed a little after 9:00PM and was singing (depending on what you call singing) in no time. It had been a full day and sleep was likely best for her.

Mornings are great so long as I don’t need to get out of my robe before 11:00. So Tuesday morning and I were not going to be on friendly terms. We took advantage of the continental breakfast and caught the free shuttle service to Mayo. Our driver kept a stream of upbeat banter going that probably helped relieve stress for many passengers.

Then there we were, Mayo Clinic towering 19 floors over Rochester, MN. To say the least it’s pretty impressive for a city of just over 100,000 people. We briefly stood outside taking in the enormity of this center of healing before wending our way to an information desk for directions. Moments later we were on an elevator quietly whisking us to the twelfth floor. As the doors opened and we stepped out Janice confessed to feeling a bit panicked. Reassuring isn’t so easy when you are only slightly less in panic mode but I think I hid it pretty well. Signs directed us to our Twelfth Floor East destination and as a receptionist asked how she could help Janice’s panic factor took her voice momentarily. The receptionist say take a deep breath an we’ll try again. She got registered in and we sat waiting for the next shoe to drop.

There really was no next shoe. A nurse roomed us and did the nurse routine then Dr Nitschmann came in and took a lot of information before calling Dr Mariani in for their exam and recommendations. Thus came the bottom line: no surgery, radiation and chemo and it can be done in Fargo. There’s no place like home. We took a cab back to the motel, loaded the car, paid the bill and were homeward bound around noon.

These were a couple intense days for us. More so for Janice but none the less a shared experience. Now comes the next phase. Radiation therapy begins next week and chemo a couple weeks later. We are told after treatment it will be controlled much like other chronic conditions.

Hmmm! So if I start whining chronically a Gibbs slap will control me? Ugh!