I couldn't seem to fall asleep the night before we received the biopsy results. I told Ivan I felt like an overly excited child who was planning on going to Disneyland the next day. I tried my best not to think about the exciting/sad news though and managed to get some sleep at least. I woke up as usual though in the middle of the night for my nightly bathroom usage and struggled my way to fall back asleep. I started thinking about the possibilities of the day, which made it even harder for me to get some decent shut eye.
Morning arrived...finally! My friend Alexis was there bright and early! She brought me this beautiful scarf wrap from Afghanistan. It was so beautiful with it's gleaming of gold. The Morning dragged. Alexis, myself and Ivan attempted to keep ourselves entertained with music and the internet, yet our anticipation was storming over us. Of course the one day we really want to hear the news my oncologist is running late. We hear her distinct light knock on the door. I hear her call out the new name she's given me in her high pitched voice "Patrice!" I propped myself up, my heart was racing in a frantic craze. As I heard the words come out of her mouth ("Well, the biopsy results show no regrowth of abnormal cells, today's a big day for you! Your nurse is working on your departure paper work right now,") my heart jumped for joy. Ivan high fived me and said "Yes! Were going home!" I frantically called and texted everyone in complete excitement not knowing what to do with myself. I felt incredible. Thank God for Alexis! Her and Ivan quickly began the packing process. Over the course of almost 6 weeks we had accumulated a the amount of stuff a college freshman would have in a year, I'm not even exaggerating. The both of them kindly made their numerous trips to the car as I signed the departure paperwork and got the dressing on my picc line changed and went over some questions with the nurse. It felt so unreal. I was about to depart the temporary home I had made. I hugged tightly all the wonderful nurse friends I had made and assured them I would visit but not under these circumstances.
As I walked out in regular clothes, which felt kinda strange the sun beamed in my eyes. I couldn't stop smiling as the warm heat hit my skin. The three of us headed to eat some delicious Thai food after. I enjoyed the feeling of being in a restaurant again, ordering my own food from a menu and the atmosphere. After indulging we headed to our hotel. Our friends Suzy and Alex were incredibly generous and booked Ivan and I a night at a near by hotel so we could rest on a real bed together before we made the drive back home. The ride in the car made me utterly nauseous and gave me a minor headache. It felt so strange to be in a vehicle after so long. At the hotel, we hit the happy hour of course. I felt sort of strange walking to bar with a scarf wrapped around my bald head and my picc line clearly visible on my arm. Ivan assured me not to worry, and said well at least let's clip your hospital bracelet off. I laughed and agreed. I had a delicious mimosa. I rested up before heading out for dinner. we had made dinner plans with all of my LA friends before I was to leave. If you can guess the place we were to have dinner I will applaud you. Of course, Versailles, my favorite Cuban food place! The food was amazing as always. The strong garlic lime taste of the chicken is a flavor that is far too strong, even chemo couldn't stop it! Suzy, Alex, Jen, Alexis, Lizette, Oscar, and even Teresa and Steve with little Audrey Claire came out! They were in town and made it out to meet up with us. It was so nice to celebrate and eat with good friends.
On our way back to the hotel Lizette and I had a rather deep and reflective conversation about our health. Lizette had recently experienced some struggles in her health that also made her realize the power of God. She said something to me that I will never forget. She said many times we tend to ask ourselves "Why me?" and feel pitty for ourselves or angry with God for having us suffer. When we should be telling ourselves "Why not?" If we never suffer, then we will never appreciate or value what we have. We talked about how we both had never suffered in this way. I myself feel so grateful. I've had an amazing life thus far. I have a great family, I've been blessed in being able to work hard and accomplish my goals, I don't feel I've ever suffered. I feel blessed to have felt pain and suffering. I feel I can relate to what Christ felt when he died for us. Perhaps just a grain of sand compared to what he did for us, but it makes me feel happy to know I have experienced that suffering. We are called to suffer. Lizette is also a teacher. She talked to me about her experiences of having to let her classroom go for the year and how sad it made her feel that she couldn't do what she loved. I talked to her about feeling the same way. I don't know what's going to happen yet. I want to return to my students and job, I just don't know if I can yet. Thank you Lizette for that beautiful conversation!
Ivan and I arrived at the hotel and got the best rest of our life! I felt like a marshmallow, and Ivan finally next to me was the cherry on top. Of course we naturally woke up at 4am out of habit. It was just too funny, I thought I was the only one awake and I look over at Ivan and see his eyes wide open. We managed to fall back asleep and wake up at 8:30 and feel completely well rested. It felt amazing to finally not be woken up at odd hours, or have to be connected to a machine and tug myself to the bathroom.
The drive back to Modesto was a bit challenging. I felt kind of nauseous at times so I would lean myself back and shut my eyes. I have never been so happy to be in Modesto!! Knowing I was to see all my family and friends made me so happy! We arrived to Modesto around 4pm. Our friend Andy was having a BBQ at his house for his birthday so we headed over there. It was so nice to see our friends and enjoy some home cooked burgers. I was able to hang in for about and hour an half then felt tired so we headed back to Ivan's mom's house to rest. It's weird not having the normal energy I am used to having, but I know I have to take it easy and not exert myself. I'm so happy to be home! Today I am going to lunch with my parents, Ivan and his mom then heading out to pick out a wig with my friends Mena and Sarah! I'm excited! I get to pick whatever hair I want;0
Thank you for all your prayers for fantastic biopsy results! God is truly listening and present! Love you all, keep following!