We have always been good at finding laughter in the worst of times. The same day we found out the stomach cancer was further along than we had thought, we found laughter. It seems absurd, and yet it made it easier to hear what the surgeon had to say because, for a brief moment, we had a release from the sorrow.
We started off in the waiting room…
You were having a flare of anger, which is so unlike you, after filling out the sheet about past health history for the fourth time in two days. Everything was checked “no” for high cholesterol, heart disease; all the usual questions. You were a healthy 56-year-old up to the stomach pains and the cancer diagnosis. I remember you saying, “How can I be sitting here with this diagnosis, when otherwise I am healthy? I just don’t understand it! I take care of myself, I don’t smoke, I don’t drink…”
Then the intake questions started with the nurse. She was honest and stated, “I was expecting a completely different person in front of me. When I look at your chart and the person sitting in front of me, it is two completely different people.” This affirmed our disbelief.
When she got to the question we hadn’t been asked before, “How is your language?”
We both went from crying to laughing.
I am always correcting your grammar and spelling even though I am not perfect in that department either. The nurse stated, “Oh, I think there’s a story there,” making it even funnier. We clued her in and she was able to join in. That question was meant to be, because it lightened the mood and feeling in the room. It helped us face what the surgeon had to say. Your life was literally hanging in the balance with her decision of being able to perform surgery on you, or not. Luckily, after looking for herself with a camera in your abdominal area, she was able to confirm that she would be able to do surgery after the first round of chemo.
Thank you, Lord! You just added a year to Mitch’s life!
We have a long journey yet ahead of us, but if we can continue to find the joy in each day, we will make what the time have left on this earth more pleasant and memorable to those you will leave behind.