Months To Years Summer 2018 MTY_Summer2018_v7 - Page 9

was one of the worst imaginable—and I wasn’t afraid. descending colon, my appendix, and some lymph nodes to boot. As an added bonus, I’d been given a colostomy, I called Gary right away and brought him up to speed. He and I would discover the stoma in my abdomen several stayed calm and confident. But I know my brother, and I hours later. knew that inside he was feeling the fear that I, inexplicably, wasn’t. When I surfaced again, I was in a big room and there were two young women with me. One was asking me The last thing I remember was being introduced to the questions. I was answering, but I also felt like I was anesthesiologist. I had never had general anesthesia and dreaming and needed to wake up. was probably more afraid of him than of the surgeon. What if I had a bad reaction? What if I didn’t wake I drifted in and out of consciousness for a while, but by up? But what choice did I have? I must have signed the around midnight I was awake and able, once again, to papers granting permission to anesthetize me, though at distinguish between dreaming and reality; I knew where I that point I was in so much shock, much of it was a blur. I was and what had happened. do remember thinking It’s Saturday evening; I should be home, taking a bath or reading a book. It was dark and quiet. I had just had cancer surgery. But I was alive.  I was taken to surgery around 6:30 p.m. What was supposed to take a couple of hours ended up taking I closed my eyes and went back to sleep. four. By the time it was over, they had removed my entire Mal Schoen was a life-long journal writer, voracious reader, and vegetarian. He enjoyed meals out with friends, movies, and shopping for bargains. Mal was long a fixture in his Menlo Park, California neighborhood, book in hand, as he sought out a quiet, sunny spot in which to read. In February 2018, Mal died after living five years with metastatic colon cancer. 9