7. On Our Way to Houston


In all we made 3 trips to MD Anderson Hospital, one in January , one in February, and one in March of 2003. I had not driven in ANY large city for decades. My husband always did that. I was always the navigator. You know, the one with the map. Once the decision was made that Mother needed to go to Houston, it became apparent that I would be the one that would do the driving.

Each trip was a growing experience for me personally. Darla says, “Yea, ever since Debbie (the famiy calls me Debbie) drove Mother and Daddy to Houston she has been fearless. She can do anything.”

There were many things about each trip that remain crystal clear in my memory. Each one was special. The first trip was bathed in prayer by Darla. Prayer for me. I had never driven 9 hours at one time before. I was taking as passengers two people where both in poor health and there would be no help if I needed it. Fortunately, Darla’s prayers were answered. The entire trip went smoothly. It was during this trip that we had a very special ‘God wink’. I will share that in another post.
Mother saw the doctor. He too was shocked by the size of her tumor, again asking her why she waited so long to seek medical help. Again she had no answer. He changed her chemo regimen to smaller doses given once a week and want to see her in a month to meet with the surgeon.

The trip in February came on the day of a late Texas ice storm. I drove from Abilene to Temple at 30 miles an hour, dodging sliding cars along the way. We spent the night in Temple and drove the next day to Houston in downpouring rain. Daddy was not feeling or thinking well on this trip. He could not help with luggage. He couldn’t think to hold a door open when I was bringing in luggage.

That trip was for naught, because the hospital had made her appointment for a day when the surgeon was not there! It was their mistake, not ours. We were not happy, as you can imagine. We did see her first doctor though. He was pleased with the way the tumor was shrinking. Come back in a month…….

The trip in March was……Well, it is hard for me to find the words to describe this trip. We tried to get Daddy to stay home. He was feeling so very bad. He was in a lot of pain, but oh, no. His words, “I’m going with you if it ‘hairlip’s the govenor”. Translation: there is no way on this planet that I am staying home!

Tomorrow: More about this trip; the last trip.

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