Months To Years Fall 2018 Months To Years Fall 2018 - Page 45

And our first home together still had plenty of renovations it knows the routine; blood-work, scans, biopsies, and a slated. This shouldn’t be happening! myriad of appointments. The walk-in doctor’s office didn’t care, though. This was There is no time to catch your breath, nor comprehend just follow-up. The mole they removed from Brad’s leg what is going on. Calendars get cleared and refilled required more attention than they could give. It was with trips to area hospitals and clinics. Our social life cancerous, and he would need a specialist. A plastic now revolved around meetings with doctors and their surgeon, an oncologist, a radiologist, and more, but for underlings, timid interns prone to looking at their shoes. starters a family physician who could start the ball rolling. And he needed them all immediately. How could I not Days exploded from there on. Brad met his plastic surgeon freak out? Everything escalated from there. and her team. They scanned his body for moles, swollen lymph nodes, and any other abnormalities they could The next day I begged my general practitioner through find—which they did. Another surgery was scheduled to tears, “Can you take Brad on? The walk-in clinic said re-excise the area where the original mole was. Time was he had to have a doctor—a family doctor—refer him to of the essence. They weren’t fooling around. specialists. I don’t even know what else we’ll need, but… Please! Please.” The dreaded ‘they’. Suddenly, we had a ‘they’ in our lives. And they proceeded to dictate much of what we ate, how Sympathy reflected in Deb’s eyes. She was professional we felt, and the schedule on our calendar for the next few and put that first, but still had a tissue at hand. Faced with years. I hated them, as much as I prayed that their efforts my tears, she had little choice, though. We needed all the would make a difference. But they didn’t. compassion we could get. Oh, those efforts were far-reaching and commendable, While I raced from doctors to phone calls to gather the but ultimately came too late. The hole they carved out of first people around us, Brad was stoic in the face of it all.  his leg when they re-excised the area meant he couldn’t drive for six weeks. He had to have his leg elevated for “It’ll be fine,” he said. “The doctor said they got it all.” 20+ hours a day to reduce the risk of swelling, and to help aid healing. We begrudgingly welcomed into our home a But even he was shaken by the speed at which things collection of nurses—strangers—to tend his wounds. happened. And the words that the walk-in doctor left him with during his follow-up appointment rattled him more And I fluttered around in the background trying to keep than he cared to admit. it all together. I became driver, cook, nurse, second set of ears during doctor appointments, and single parent to our “Cancer is like a dandelion seed head. With a puff, the little girl. When it came time to go to the hospital, though, seeds fly everywhere. Once dispersed, they are nearly I faded into the background. I was not the patient. This impossible to track down. What I have done is like closing was about Brad, not me. the barn door once the horses have escaped. The cells— those horses—are out there. Now we must track them So, I sat through hours of doctor appointments with a down. And if even one escapes, it multiplies…” baby on my lap and keys in my pocket. As a family, we were an inconvenience during Brad’s appointments. I Those cells were multiplying as he spoke. learned to leave when those inconveniences intruded on the matter at hand. Typically, the first steps after a cancer diagnosis are a battery of diagnostic tests. Anyone who has gone through Taryn and I wandered the hospital looking for places to 45