Today was probably the best and worst day of my life.
Mom and Dad arrived at Sloan Kettering around 5am for surgery prep. She went in around 7:30, and by 8:30, she was under anesthesia & her surgery began.
Having arrived at 1am from Boston, I managed to get up and arrive by 9am to meet my dad who was in need of company.
We got breakfast and then, slowly, everyone else arrived: my sister-in-law’s parents, my brother & sister-in-law, my nephew, and finally, my 1st cousin (mom had a brother who passed away in the early 2000’s – this is his eldest son). We took over a whole alcove in the waiting room.
My phone blew up all day. I must’ve heard from 20+ people via all forms of communication, including text, phone, email, Facebook, and more. It was mom’s network checking in – a rabbi, a nun, her bridge friend, my aunt, friends that might as well be family at this point…you name it. And my own support system checked in. I texted all day. It’s 10:30pm and they’re still coming in! Let’s face it, my mom is loved.
When I wasn’t playing assistant to my mother, we all talked about everything from coding to politics to cancer to my budding relationship with Mr T.
About every 1.5 hours, a nurse would come down and update us.
If I can remember, over the course of the surgery, which lasted roughly from 8:30am-6pm, the doctor removed aggressive ovarian cancer cells from: diaphragm, stomach, lymph nodes, appendix (removed), gall bladder (removed), reproductive system (removed), bladder…I hope I got it all. Crazy, huh? Apparently the cancer didn’t want to leave her bladder. That was one of the trickiest parts.
Listen, my mom had barely any symptoms! She had a little pressure on her bladder so she got checked out by her urologist. And it turns out the poor lady was full of cancer!
Here’s why the day ended so brightly. The doctor performed beautifully and removed the visible cancer. Imagine if mom hadn’t gone to the urologist? Who knows how long it would have taken for symptoms to show since these weren’t her “key” organs?
We had a few minutes with her post-surgery. She looked great! She was loopy but “with it.”
Dad and I will be staying here near the hospital for the week. I’ll head back next Saturday.
You never know how your life can change in an instant. Buy the shoes!