This is it – our week to head north. Mike and I do it once a year, trudging from Arkansas to Minnesota to the medical mecca that is the Mayo Clinic. We practically have it down to a science. We stay at the same place; he drops me off at the same building; I have the same tests. The variable is always what the results will be.
This coming June will be the nineteenth anniversary of my kidney transplant, courtesy of my brother. I feel blessed beyond measure. After all, how does one say thank you for the donation of a body part? It is still working. This trip will tell us how well. I do know that it suffers from severe blood vessel damage. Hopefully, it has been content to maintain the status quo in the past year.
I am also a proud cancer survivor. Each year the doctors assess the situation to make sure it is held at bay. The waiting is sometimes difficult. What an insiduous disease cancer is, that it can sneak into a person’s body without announcement or fanfare.
The great thing is that Mike has taken the week off from work to drive me north to my destination. It can’t be for the fun of it. Driving about 650 miles one way; waiting while I dash from one medical test to another; discussing the findings with the nephrologist; revising the treatment plan and then driving back. He does it because we are in this together.
I’m sure a lot of couples will celebrating Valentine’s Day in style this week. There will dinners and flowers and chocolates and promises of undying affection. We’ll be commemorating a little differently this year. The love of my life and I will be walking the halls of a medical haven, from which we pray good news is forthcoming. It’s Mayo time.