• Another 100 Days of Good Karma: Day 201 (The Surgery – Point of View Shift)

    Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

    Day 201 of *Another* 100 Days of Good Karma.

    You know when you get to a really good part in a novel? The hero is about to slay the beast. Get the girl. Make an enemy pay. That’s the part we all perk up and pay attention. When we want to see things work out for this person we’ve been following for so many pages. Given them hours of our life.

    Except before you get to that good part, the icing on the cake that we call plot, it shifts. We start following some random character. Who is this person? Why are they popping up right when I want to skip ahead? You shake your fist at them. Get back to the hero you’ll scream. Foul you’ll cry.

    Ladies and gentlemen. I’m your point of view shift.

    I’m also Tina, Meghan’s friend.

    Today’s story didn’t really start today for me. It started when I landed on the plane with my heart in my throat, clutching my backpack like a lifeline, scanning the crowded airport for my friend, and plunging myself squarely in the middle of her life.

    But this is not her life. This is the fun-house-mirror version of her life. Fuck you, cancer, fuck you.

    *Damn it I promised I’d keep my cool*

    *Deep breath*

    The morning started out quiet. I woke up at 2am and never went back to sleep. Instead I stared at the ceiling wondering if Meghan was getting any sleep at all. Was her husband? The night before her daughter was upset. She didn’t want Meghan to go to the hospital and, well, neither did we. Thinking about Meghan’s kids is what makes it hard for me to hold it together, because this time last year *my* dad had cancer. I don’t know what it’s like to have cancer, but I damn well know what it’s like to have a parent with cancer and it sucks. I saw a lot of her concerns echoed in my own concerns from last year. Was I getting all the information? Was I doing things right? The only difference is she’s a kid and I was an adult with all sorts of resources at my disposal.

    (But thank God for Meghan’s friends. More on that later).

    Meghan’s son followed her around the house, finding excuses to be near her. He’s normally an energetic boy who became unusually quiet. The mood in the house shifted once we all gathered in the kitchen. It became: “let’s do this!” Something I heard Meghan say a few times as we gathered the last minute things we thought we might need. The kids were dropped off at a friend’s house. Wendy is an awesome friend who took in Meghan’s kids at O’ Dark-Way-Too-Early Hour. She also served as a good counselor to Meghan’s kids and answered any questions they had.

    We were off to the hospital and arrived early, but so did a hundred other patients. The waiting room was packed. Meghan said some lady made a comment about it being a “cattle call” and lets just say Meghan did not appreciate her observation.

    The rest of the day seemed to be on both fast-forward and slow motion. Fast when we had things to do and gathered our things in a flurry of motion to get to the next place we were supposed to be. Slow when we had the two-hour wait between updates.

    Meghan’s husband is a rock. This guy was putting out fires at work from his computer, ushering us from place to place, making sure Meghan got her favorite Chick-fil-lay chicken sandwich, just in case she wanted something right when she got out of surgery. All with a calm, collected demeanor. Sure, after six months of this, he’s somewhat of an old hat, but I don’t think every spouse is this supportive and together. Later he admitted he “didn’t know what he was doing” – I beg to differ.

    But the best moment–the absolute best thing about today—the doctors. The staff. The caring friends who all called to wish their love. The people who got her to this point. Who took her to chemo. Who watched her kids. This family of people Meghan has supporting her, you guys are so amazing. Meghan’s parents don’t live here. Knowing she has people here makes this whole thing less stressful for her family back home.

    Our updates were all good and positive. The surgery was considered very, very successful.

    And when Meghan woke up after, I felt like I’d taken my first real breath since I got off that plane.

    I know it’s not ideal. It’s not perfect. Her right breast is gone. It doesn’t look the same. She hates it. Nobody promised her it would be all sugar-gum-drop-loogies-and-rainbow-farts at this stage. I won’t paint this all a pale shade of pink and give you rose-colored glasses. You all knew it would be hard. And this will be a new journey in the saga.

    I’ll try to keep you updated.

    And sorry for the jarring point-of-view shift.

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22 Responsesso far.

  1. Juan Carlos Figueroa says:

    Our thoughts and prayers for Meghan and her family. Thank you for being there for her…

    Figueroa Family

  2. Leslee says:

    Great Tina! She does have wonderfull family and friends! Justin is always a rock wether he knows it or not! Thanx for the update, glad the surgery went well, as for dealing with it, Meg is a tough cookie, she will adjust in time!!!! Much love to them all!!!!

  3. Linda says:

    Bless you a million times for being there for her.

  4. Pam says:

    Thank you, Tina, for being there, but also for updating the rest of us. I’ve never met Meghan in real life, but I really value her as a writer and as an incredibly brave person who has shared so much of herself during this difficult time. I was thinking about her all day yesterday and it’s so good to hear the surgery went well.

    Good luck, Meghan! So many people rooting for you.

  5. Pat Sincox says:

    Keep it coming, and please keep Meghan away from the blog until she is really, really ready to begin again. I suspect that hard-headed b%$&h will not wait for too very long before she will have to put it all into well-truned words. We all can’t wait……but we really can……………..

    • Meghan says:

      I heard that, Pat. *glare* 😉 ~Meghan

      • Pat Sincox says:

        Well, she is still got a little kick left in her this morning…….that is good…..very good. Now, I will look forward to the point where we can each have a Guinness and discuss……….whatever…..

  6. Leah Senona says:

    Thank you for the update, Tina. Sending lots of love to Meghan and everyone supporting her!

  7. Melissa says:

    So glad to hear it went well, thanks for the update. Cant even imagine what yesterday was like for everyone involved. Please let Meghan know we’re all thinking of her and sending lots of well wishes.

  8. Debbie Bryington says:

    Meghan, I hope you are feeling better today! I am so glad that I was able to be at the Hospital yesterday with you and Justin. I know it was a very hard day for both of you and a very long day for all of us. If you need anything, please let me know. I will be down on Sunday and am looking forward to spending next week with you, my son and my precious Grand Babies. I love you,

    • Tina Gower says:

      They are super excited for that chicken spaghetti! And I’m no substitute for Grandma 🙂 I loved talking with you at the hospital. Meghan has such a loving, caring family.

  9. Cindy Smith says:

    Tina – Thank you so very much for being there for Meghan, Justin and the kids!! I am so happy for her that she has a friend like you. I am so happy to hear that she made it through ok, but have to admit that I was in tears by the time got to the end of the story. My story is very different than hers, but I can definitely relate to surgery that removes a part of you. I’ve had two hip replacements and the first one was brutal so I understand how she went through so many different emotions before it and there will be so many more to come afterwards. So, again, thank you for being there for her!!! Give her my love!

    • Tina Gower says:

      Yes, losing body parts and getting extensive surgery that makes it hard to get around is so awful. Meghan keeps telling me she wants to go for a run. I say, “Go ahead.” (We both know she’s not going to be jogging around the block anytime soon. I hope for a speedy recovery for her, so she can get back to her regular routine.

  10. amy p says:

    Grateful for you Tina!! Hug on that hard headed woman for me!

  11. […] lately, since my parents house burned down and last week I’d just come back from a week of taking care of Meghan after her mastectomy—I’d learned to not ignore the universe telling me I needed to pay attention to […]

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