"My right side sill hurts." It was the third day.
"You need to go to the ER" She said.
"No I'll be o.k."
We joke about her just wanting me to get a cather like she had to when I made her go to the ER. Late that evening, as she stands beside the gurney, the doctor, with a grim look, states:
"There is a problem, you have cancer on your kidney. It's got to come out I called the best urologist I know. You need to come back for a cat scan tomorrow morning."
He is concerned, we have worked together for almost four years in this ER. I am usually standing next to him talking to the person on the gurney. As he talks I think this is not what she sign up for. I hear him but, my mind is thinking of my kids, mother, and her. I know she will soon be gone, but not before she does the right thing.
We go home, but do not talk.
"I just checked the cat scan. It is deffinently cancer. I'm going to see if the urologist wants to operated now so you may not be going home."
Another ER Doctor I had spent four years working with. He is almost in tears as he turns to make the call. Befoe I leave the ER I have appointments for the next day that would usually take months to get.
"I have studied the scans, we need to opeate. There is no biopsie we know what this is. It has to come out, probably all of your left kidney."
"I have no insurance."
"Pay me $30 a month if you want to. I don't care if you don't have insurance we opeate I'm not going to let you just die, the room is reserved."
We go home, we don't talk.
June, she stood beside the gurney as they put the epidural in to help put me under.
"If they find anything more tell them I don't want to wake up."
I wake, after a week in the hospital we go home, we do not talk.
September she was gone along with my kidney, but I was alive.
Every six months for three years I must experiance the same tests to make sure there was no recurrence.
Then once a year, the last one being today.
Each time I leave the Doctor's office to sit in the parking lot alone crying.
The relieve is absolutely overwhelming and surprising. I have not thought about it, yet on the rear burner it sits. Cooking slowly, causing me to be short, distant, angry, short tempered, and scared as the test time come closer. Every word uttered by the radiologist suggests it's back. Every word not said by the doctor is a death notice. Then he finally states "You have no recurrence, everything looks good, see you next year." I am given a benediction such as no priest or pastor has ever offed me.
Each time I am thankful of how long my life has been, yet how soon it can end; far to soon.
I compose myself to call those who want to know the results of the tests as soon as possible. With each call I hear relief, which again renews mine.
Then it is on to experianceing each special day until it is time to take the tests again.