From making lemonade (see last post) to making miracles. After standing on the precipice of life and death with my Mom, the doctor found us after the surgery in the atrium, with big eyes, hearts pounding, waiting. He said, “Follow me into this room, and I’ll tell you what I found.” Oh God, what is he going to tell us?
“Everything went well,” he said, continuing, “Here’s a picture of the tumor (showing us on his iPhone). Our eyes became even bigger – it was the size of two grapefruits! No wonder her abdomen had been so bloated. The doctor had told my Mom that with all the fluid in her abdomen, it indicated that it was most likely cancer. After looking at the picture of the tumor he went on to say, “Her other ovary looked normal, along with her uterus and intestines, this is a good sign. In the initial examination of the cells during surgery, they looked benign, but we will not know for sure for another week after the Pathologists report.”
My sister and I looked at each other in disbelief, and with a smile, gave each other a high five. Could this be for real? I felt my entire body relax, and my heart take a sigh of relief. A week to know for sure, but this was great news! We waited to visit her post-surgery, and when we did, in her drugged state, she asked, “Well, what did the doctor find?” And we happily answered, “The initial scan looks benign.” Her eyes became uncannily big, and she replied, “Really? Really?” And shut her eyes again.
A week has gone by, and much happened during that week. Cleaning up her house that has been lived in for 45 years kept us busy. Cleaning out the house equaled cleaning out her tumor, or so it felt. We went through each room, clearing out what wasn’t needed or being used, dusted, rearranged, and rearranged again. It provided therapy for my sister and I to do something for our Mom while she was recovering and we were all waiting.
She came into clarity the day after surgery with courage and attitude. Being a retired nurse, she knew what was coming, how it was done, and what she could get away with, including taking “her vitamins” on an three day empty stomach. It was no surprise she vomited shortly after, and the nurse scolded her and insisted we take them home so she wouldn’t be tempted to do it again.
I took her for walks around the hospital, holding her hand, and pushing the IV monitor. The connection with her hand was so fragile it scared me, but her strength behind her grip was encouraging. Mom came home on the fourth day, happy, with bright eyes, and walking easily. And as we cleaned, cared for her, played cards with her, we hoped of the outcome, all of us, the elephant in the room sitting on the sidelines watching, but not consuming.
Monday morning came. One week exactly from the surgery date. The doctor called, “It’s confirmed benign. There are other small growths in the abdominal cavity, but they are benign as well, and have low malignancy potential. We will take a look at them in 3 months.” We each celebrated in our own way, our hearts relieved, joyous, grateful. A brush with cancer. We hope it remains so. Miracles do happen!
“Everyday holds the possibility of a miracle” ~Elizabeth David
Categories: Heart Centered Living