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*
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.