10:00 PM Sophie had a good day today. She was a little reluctant to go to school until Randall said, "You want to go see Ms. Ericka, don't you" (that's her teacher). She was very excited about that until she realized that we meant her teacher and not Ms. Erika from church. But Randall got her off to school okay, and Ms. Ericka (her teacher!) reported that although she was a little whiny today, she seemed to feel well.
Our big trauma for the day was that we took one of our cats (Hannah) to the vet this morning. When I was petting her on Friday night, I discovered a rather large lump on her chest. We don't know how long it has been there, but it seems like something we would have noticed, so it must have gotten big pretty quickly. The vet said she didn't think it was anything as simple as a cyst (which had been our hope). She said it could be a lymph node, but it's kind of low (next to her shoulder joint) and none of the other nodes are swollen (which is actually a good thing). She didn't think it was a fatty tumor because it felt too solid, but she says it feels pretty smooth, which is a good sign. She is suspecting that it might be her thyroid gland, even though it's a little off from where the thyroid is and is checking her thyroid levels. If nothing in the bloodwork gives a clue (and probably even if it does), they'll do a biopsy to get a better idea of what's going on. If it's fairly straightforward (and not malignant), they can remove the mass at the vet hospital here in Dunn. Otherwise, we'll have to go to a specialist in Cary, which is about 60 miles away. Treatments (including surgery to remove the mass, chemotherapy, and radiation) could be as high as $6,000 over the course of the next year. So all these possibilities are very overwhelming and kind of hard to take, but we figure we'll be able to manage the information and decisions better when we have more information and some of these possibilities have been ruled out.
I'll drive in to work tomorrow, and after work, I'll fly to Washington DC for a one-day meeting on Thursday. I'll fly home Thursday night, but I'm sure Randall will be wishing I were here as he finishes two papers that are due Friday. He thinks he'll be able to finish one of them tomorrow and drive it up to Duke on Thursday (it has to be submitted in person) and get a few more articles for his other paper (which he can e-mail on Friday). I know he'll be glad to have all that work behind him so he can concentrate on Advent and Christmas. He only needs one course to graduate next semester, but he had registered for a full load, thinking he might as well take as many classes as possible before he graduates (plus his fellowship covers most of the cost, so three classes cost the same as one), but all this end-of-semester work is making him think maybe one class would be just fine. We'll see whether he has selective amnesia when the semester starts in January!