Thursday, June 28, 2007

Surgery Day - Part One

I was reading another blog today where her husband was diagnosed with some form of rare cancer and will have a bone marrow transplant to prolong life hopefully. I read where they have young children, she has health issues, and now this. Reading her posts took me back a couple of months in our cancer journey.

I don’t think I’ve blogged about this yet, and really don’t know why I am now, but here it goes.

Part One

When Mother had her surgery in Big City, my sister, two aunts, my grandmother, my dad, my husband and I were all there. The family waiting room was not too big and there were these large flat screen televisions on a couple of the walls. The nurse had given me a number that would correspond to the number on the screen showing us what stage of the surgery Mother was in. This nurse also stayed with Mother during the surgery and called me every 30 minutes to an hour to let us know how she was doing. I remember sitting near the phone, knitting and looking up at the end of every row to check the progress on the screen. I remember having to step out after one of the calls from the nurse to call the store and call the lawyer about a guy that was trying to sue the store. I remember the relief I felt when he told me the case had been thrown out and that the store was doing good. I remember going back into the waiting room to tell Hubby and Sister the good news and I remember getting the next phone call. The nurse said that they were closing Mother up and that she’d be going into recovery soon. She also said that the doctor would be up shortly to talk to us. Something nagged the back of my brain at that time, but I didn’t listen until later. I had a moment, albeit a false one, of feeling relieved that she wouldn’t be going into ICU but a private room after recovery.

I remember the doctor coming into the waiting room. We were the only ones left with the exception of the waiting room attendant. I remember he still had his cap on his head and was carrying a small wooden box in his hands. He sat down across from me on one of the end tables and my sister came and sat next to him on the floor. I remember his clear blue eyes looking directly into mine after a long, deep breath. I remember the lines around his eyes and the weary look on his face. I don’t remember everything he said. In fact, I remember very little of the next half hour. I remember looking over at my sister desperately writing in her notebook. I remember feeling Hubby’s pants leg under my tightening fingers when I grabbed his knee. I remember hearing Stage IV, B and it being inoperable. I remember him saying 3 nodules in the liver. I remember it being beyond worrying about the lymph system and a time frame of 4-6 months without treatment, possible 11 months with, but there were no guarantees on any of that. I do remember thinking he really hated having to tell us this and that I needed to keep it together while he was still there. I remember standing up to hug him and thank him. My head resting briefly on his upper chest as I said God bless you. I remember him limping out the door and seeing him go down the hall past the windows with his head hung down.

I don’t know how I made it back to the chair, but the next thing I remember is sobbing uncontrollably into Hubby’s shirt. I remember darkness shrouding my soul, as cancer seemed to suck the hope out. I remember trying to catch a breath and pain radiating throughout my being. I don’t know how long we all were in that state of sorrow. I know the waiting room attendant said she would put us on her prayer list. I remember her handing me the room number that Mother would be taken to. I remember trying to take deep, slow breaths. We all gathered our things and ourselves and walked out of that room. Some were going to eat while my sister and one aunt would go up to the room to wait on Mother. The doctor had said that she would probably be out of it for the rest of the night, or at least a couple more hours. Our group headed down one of the elevators while the other two went up. As we stepped out of the elevator my phone rang and it was Sister, panic in her voice as she told me Mother was awake.

I can't continue the rest of this story yet. I'm not ready. I think I've done good to get this part out, but the rest just is not ready to be put out for the world to see. Even though I know it's just a few folks that read this. A few folks that I talked to within hours of finding out. Folks that helped me gather myself back together and help keep me together to this day. Part 2 is coming, just not right now.

1 comment:

Marcus said...

Powerful writing. I know what's coming in Part 2, and I still dread it. Such horror......