Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Traci marches on

It might be her heart (pure), it might be her will (strong), but she’ll tell you it’s her Lord (faithful, merciful, mighty, tender, empowering, attentive and on and on) that is allowing Traci 4 days after chemo to have had just about no side effects at all.  Some will say and have said already, “oh this is just the first treatment.  You wait!”  We say “God has heard our prayers and answered them.”


Chemo was long on Friday (5 hours) but Saturday came with her being able to go archery class with us and then able to attend with me and two other couples who are dear friends a breast cancer benefit event.  It was at a horse farm in Social Circle, GA, and allowed us a relaxing night of country music, horses seen/heard/smelled but not ridden, beautiful scenery and encouraging words from survivors, supporters, and medical professionals.  Traci was able to meet Dr. Sheryl Gabram from Emory University School of Medicine which was a blessing to both Dr. Gabram and Traci based on the amount hugs and tears shared between them.  We also know now that we will go to her and Emory when the time for a radiation consultation draws nigh.  A dear friend at our gym, Malik, introduced us to his girlfriend a few weeks ago who, it turns out, works with Dr. Gabram at Emory.  Very small world we live in but not accidental at all.  That’s a later issue we know but it is nice to have some direction in mind once that time approaches. 


Traci was standing alone in front of me when Dr. Gabram asked how many in the audience were survivors.  Seeing my wife raise her hand as the sun set beautifully over the trees just in front of her was one of those moments on this journey that I’ve framed in my heart forever.  It drew a powerful response and has done something to me for sure.  I have gotten emotional every time I’ve thought about it since then.  I’ve seen Traci as many things the last 15 years including once or twice a survivor of some pretty challenging life situations.  To see her though as one that is surviving cancer is, well, unlike any perspective of her I’ve ever had.  The last few months have shown me a lot about my bride.  She’s gritty, tough and courageous as well as loving, cute, and wonderful. 


Today, Traci is going to chemoflage class in Dunwoody (www.chemoflage.com) before she goes for a “cranial prosthesis consultation” which to people who are educated beyond their intelligence as I am simply means “a wig fitting.”  We don’t know if she’ll lose her hair at all but if she does that should start early next week.  She wants to be ready with accessories a plenty (a wig, head wraps, a cap or two, etc.) should that day come.  We Browne men (sons and father) have agreed to “Go Kojak” if mommy does.  I’ve always wanted to actually and this might be the only time I can pull it off.  The boys just want to do whatever will bless their mom.  I love my boys.  No, Anna will not be going Kojak.  She ministers to mommy with hugs and beautiful drawings that defy her age of 3 in that these take her an hour or two to meticulously complete (see attachment). 


She hopes to attend a dinner tonight followed by prayer in the home of one of the wonderful women in our church, Terri.  She’ll have a few hours to nap before that though so she will hopefully be ok.  If at any point in the day she’s not ok her escort, not me today but her dear friend Nadya instead, will return her home. 


So we are doing only what we know to do – live life, teach the kids (that’s me today and oh do I respect Traci more than ever), rest when needed, play when you can, and pray always.  So far that has meant life has been largely normal following her first chemo treatment last Friday. 


For that and for you and your prayers, cards, gifts, food, and visits, we are very thankful.


Blessings on your day and week from the Brownes to you!


Rob Browne

Director of Russian Operations



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