The thoughts that went through my mind that morning were few. Clearly, I was anxious to know whether my tumours were operable. Would I bleed to death before learning the severity of the cancer? I would love to have watched from a balcony – like we’ve seen on television.
Everyone in the room was extremely friendly, but only a select few spoke to me. It was very organized and calm. On my right, I could see a table covered in blue sheets – like the one we see on movie sets. It held many instruments; and probably included the scalpel that would slice me open along my belly. It was just as well I couldn’t see details; everyone’s hair and face was covered up in hospital gear.
One, tw… and I’m out. My job was done. The rest was up to the surgeon and his team. I wonder at what point he walked in. Were there casual exchanges among him and the staff? Anyone crack a joke? He knew what he had to do; and it would be a long day for him. Was he worried he would be too tired to do the investigation and the operation on the same day? He’s obviously done this before; otherwise, he would not have agreed to both procedures on the same day. Did he have too much coffee, in an attempt to stay alert the entire day? Will his hands be shaky? I had full faith in his professionalism.
My niece, Claudia, then in University, stayed home that day with a good friend of my mother’s, to take care of Isabella. My husband, mother, sisters, and oldest brother-in-law, Ralph – who’s more like the brother I never had – passed the time impatiently in the waiting room for any sign of hope.
We had been told that the longer they were left to wait, the better the news could be. My surgeon explained that, once he completed the physical investigation – which would take three or four hours, he would only put me through the risky surgery, if he knew he could remove all the cancer. He told my family that if he didn’t come out by noon, that meant he would be able to do the surgery. My sister, Mary, explains that they were panicking, hoping he wouldn’t come out and say, “there is nothing we could do.”
Glad you continue to read. Hope you’re finding even a little hope in my experience.