2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
As the nurse wheeled me over to the other side of the hospital to await the trials of the day, tears flowed as people passed. Tissues placed throughout the hospital were grabbed along the way. Faces flew by in a collage then a whirling kaleidoscope fashion.
I had papers to fill out, my husband handled questions to be answered mostly because words got caught up in my throat and wouldn’t come out. The nice lady took one look at me with tears rimming her eyes before sending me on my way with the comforting words, “I’ve been right where you are today, be strong,” These words were going to be the most frequent words heard for the next year to come.
Mammogram first – I have to say I think I landed in an Angelic domain of hospital workers because every single person who cared for me had a glowing beauty about them. The first one being, Shantay (I think that’s spelled right) I won’t put too many names out here but that was the most beautiful name and the bubbly blonde connected to that name filled me with laughter on one of my darkest days.
You would have never known that I was just told I have cancer or that I was about to experience a squishing-squashing ceremony of the boob. I told her, “If I can’t laugh, I’ve got nothing to hold onto.” She agreed and we continued with our out of the ordinary sense of humor.
For example, the door she wheeled me through had big taped up cracks and I told her, “You did that didn’t you? You just wheeled someone into the glass and cracked it!” She replied, “I’m a dangerous driver.” Chuckle.
I was handed a smock? Dressing to cover ‘my girls’ but as she noted I would be needing to change again and again and that I should just leave it on. As we were wheeling to the next session of ‘boob academy’, she noted, “Are your girls in?”
“Well no, I just wanna flash everyone I pass! After this experience, I think I’ve earned that right.” More giggles and laughter. My tears were drying, my nose tender from all the rubbing; my head was pounding from no food, no water and the whirling of the room and tests. She had to part but didn’t leave without the comforting words ‘stay strong’ tear-rimmed eyes, and a gentle touch of the hand, “I wish I could go with you.” Bonding words if I ever heard.
Onto the c-t scan – The nurse who came to wheel me into the c-t room was another angelic beauty. With piercing blue eyes and wavy black hair, she introduced herself and handed me off to ‘the table’ where a Mr. Clean looking man stood awaiting me to get on the bed. Haha, not a funny thought there, is it?
The Zooey Deschanel look-alike saw that I was already dressed for the occasion (the left-over smock from the squishy room), and asked if my ‘girls’ were in and well… in Joni fashion, I said, “No, I’m in a flashing mood today.” Mr. Clean chuckled and said, “Well I need to take pictures.” He thought about what he said and said “No, not like that, hahaha” He went on to poke me with an IV which would be used for a fluid to run through my veins and, his words, ‘make me feel like I wet myself’. As if I didn’t feel that way already before we met.
I was sent through a Stargate portal and as I looked at a blinking light, right beneath it said, ‘Do Not Stare at the blinking light.’ Too late, I’m in a fog, I’m flashing people and I don’t even care at this point. “Be strong,” Mr. Clean said as I finished up with the portal and I was slowly taken away and wheeled over to the next leg of the journey, the pre-op!
The doctor who would perform ‘the surgery’ they called it (it was really just a 16 gage needle being stuck into my ‘girl’), looked a little like Kevin James. He was a jovial dark-haired man with soft hands and very capable of the duty set before him. He comforted my husband and I and we were told how routine this procedure has become.
I had never experienced such a wonderful group of teammates. Sure being in this profession you need a spot on personality and caring compassionate ways but they handled me as if I was the Queen of England and treated me with kid gloves in every aspect of this journey. My longest waiting time was in the pre-op stage because as you can imagine, this process is apparently routine and the doc was working on someone else as I waited.
His soft voice talked me through every step and while I was laying in an uncomfortable position (due to my arthritic pain) I lay still as David Crowder music played in the background gently lulling me to a safe comfort zone as my breast was being poked. BillyBob (male anesthesiologist) had asked what kind of music I like and no hesitation went into proclaiming my Christianity. David Crowder and Kari Jobi I said, and the young lady at the sonogram machine smiled, BillyBob said it was a nice upbeat sound.
BillyBob had asked if a young lady could come in and observe the process since she is in training. I said, “Sure, the more the merrier!” My sense of humor was kicking into overdrive. This is when we waited for ‘the surgeon’.
As I lay a foot from the sonogram screen with my left arm over my head, I gazed at the huge lump with sadness. I just stared and then said something… “Is this like the sonogram they give to look at babies?” The doctor in all seriousness said, “Yes, that’s exactly it!” I said in a deadpan rye way, “Is that my baby?” I could see his face turn blistering red as to hold back an outburst of laughter. “Is it a boy or a girl?” I asked. He calmly offered, “We should know by Tuesday.”
He went on to clean me up, gave me the pat on the back and I finally hear, “Good job! You did great! I have some really good samples here and now onto the hardest part, the wait.”
All of their faces screamed ‘poor girl’ but I wouldn’t allow the down faces to carry me or them through the rest of the day, I went on to say, “I’m hungry! I haven’t eaten all day, no water and I’ve been up since 3 a.m.”
The doctor said, “You deserve to go and eat something.”
I giggled, “Chili from Wendy’s?”
He offered, “You earned two!”
“Tell my husband?” a little chuckle came out and a tear passed my cheek.
The observing girl offered, “You should get a Frostee, too!” I laughed. “Yeah, you both need to tell my husband that!
They both wheeled me back to the pre-op station/cubby hole and announced that I did really well to my husband. “And?” I said. “And she earned two chili’s from Wendy’s.” And the observer piped in “And a Frostee.” Hubby laughed and shook his head. This has to be hard on him too, I thought.
Thirty minutes later after a jello, water, IV removal, and BP checked as well as my temperature, (and a long awaited pee!) Then we were sent on our way into the blustery cold and blowing snow filled day. Wendy’s (drive-thru), home, then reality to deal with all that happened on this much eventful, test and tear filled day. In that order.