Wow. Last week was a doozy. I can’t believe it has only been 10 days since my diagnosis and 5 days since arriving in Chicago. It feels like years or at least months.

For the most part, I’m hanging in there. Not going to lie, Thursday was the worst 24 hours of my life. Between the fear of the unknown and the horror of uncovering what is going on with my pituitary gland and endocrine system, not one part of the day was easy.

Basically since learning that we will not be having an immediate surgery and instead approaching this with medication first, I have been poked and injected and prodded then poked again and again. Result after result was scary and discouraging. I have never wanted to be someone else, somewhere else more. 

The good news is, we now have a starting place and I am on day 2 of ‘treatment’. I could literally feel a difference within one hour of taking my prescription cocktail so I am optimistic and there is hope that I will have some symptom relief in the coming days.  And as of now, I will continue to take these meds for 2 weeks and then go in to see if they have had an effect on my hormone levels.

Because I am still coming to grips with all this and can barely grasp that I am pumped full of synthetics (i.e. steroids and hormones) – I can’t really write about it yet. It’s just too new and too hard.

Instead, I’ll write about distractions.

The first welcomed one arrived on Thursday evening and inspired me. As Andrew and I were recapping the horrible details of the day, we were interrupted by a knock at the door.  Much to our surprise, the bellman had milk and cookies from our friends, Brad and Jen, who had dropped them by for a goodnight snack. Chocolate chip has never tasted so good.

The brilliant novelty of the cookies and the fact that we had old friends close enough to drop them by made it clear, I needed a break from the tumor and my imbalances and the horror of my own thoughts. 

First step was realizing where I was…CHICAGO…at THE DRAKE no less in a beautiful room with a view of the lake (thank you Ted Bailey for the upgrade).  How could I not have realized this before?

Enjoying it might be a bit of a stretch but I certainly could appreciate the comfort of being in a familiar place. At least enough to sleep through most of the night.

I then decided that Friday was going to be officially designated D (for distraction)-day. The only rule: there are no rules. To start, I ordered a ridiculously overpriced bowl of oatmeal. Nothing says healing like some breakfast delivered by a tuxedo-clad gentleman who greeted me as Mrs. Choquette when I answered the door.

After breakfast, I spent about 30 minutes examining myself in the mirror. My brows, roots and nails were a mess. My abandoned hair was a disaster and there had been zero attempt to put even a little color on my lips or cheeks for more than a week. I was as ugly as the tumor and even more out of sorts than my TSH level.

So when the surge of energy kicked in from the oatmeal and medication (I felt like I should be at a rave), I headed out to brave the below zero temps just long enough to cross the street and enter the wonderful eutopia which is the Red Door Spa (http://www.reddoorspas.com/).

The next few hours were nothing short of a miracle. I made small talk with the technicians, drank cucumber water and left the world of modern medicine outside to freeze. When I emerged, the sun was setting and my spirits were on the rise.

Never underestimate the power of a little self-esteem boost via smooth feet…. 

…red nails…..

….a blow out, brow wax and some mascara.

So distracted by 7pm, I was even up for dinner in public. The progress made on D-day was beyond impressive and I wasn’t ready to let it be over.

Note: when Andrew asked earlier if I wanted to join him and his colleagues for a steak dinner, it felt as though he had suggested I go to the moon.

Nothing says brain tumor distraction like a Chicago-style steakhouse complete with business men, red wine and dessert that should be illegal. I was in and it was perfection.

By Saturday morning, I felt like a new girl, myself again. The gaping black hole didn’t seem to have such a strong hold and I was even capable of picking up on details around me.

Did you know that the hallways at the Drake are unusually wide because when the hotel was built it was designed for 2 ladies in ball gowns to be able to walk side by side? How can you not love that? And how amazing is that carpet?

Now that’s the Mary I know.

So the D-day was a hit and noted for future reference. I’m sure it’s not the last of its kind in my future. Although this version may be a bit more on the extravagant side than necessary….I can imagine Choq sweating right now. I promise A, next time it will be movies and popcorn.

Speaking of Andrew, he left for China yesterday. It is official that the man has super powers and I am luckier than Lois Lane to have him as my husband. He makes me want to be better – he always has – this time it is just more in the literal sense than before.

So while he tackles consumer electronics in the Chinese marketplace, I’m settling in at Liz and Ted’s and all over the conquest of adenomas and imbalances. I think it’s safe to say while staying focused on the goals is completely imperative, necessary distractions are also part of this process and I hope we both find time for them in the coming days.

7 responses to “Distractions

  1. Hi Honey.

    So glad you “posted”. I’ve been thinking about you and worrying . . . wondering what you have been going through this week. It sounds as if you have a good “handle” on things and wonderful doctors. Please know that you are never far from my thoughts and are in my prayers. Love.

  2. Glad you had a wonderful D Day – sounds fantastic!!

  3. If you ever want to return to Effingham for a little while, I would be more than happy to make the drive to Chicago and steal you. We have an extra room at our house and you would be more than welcome. I would invite all of the STA ppl to our house for some spirits, memories and wine. Let me know! It could be a weekend full of Distractions!

  4. Mary – Spa Day’s are the best! BTW… Love the red nails a you look BEAUTIFUL! So glad things are in an upward swing! Hugs!

  5. You couldn’t be in better hands with T&L! 🙂

  6. So glad to hear that you are feeling like yourself again! Let the healing powers on Farragut continue to heal you!
    When Ted worked at the Drake he hooked me up with the room that Julia Robert’s filmed “My Best Friends Wedding” with sweeping views of Lakeshore and the water. It remains to this day, the swankiest hotel experinece I have ever had.

  7. This is amazing Mary. I am learning so much about what you have gone through. you never cease to amaze me with how strong and incredible you are!

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