This would be a 12 hour procedure with a two week recovery in the hospital. This was major surgery. This was life saving surgery and this surgery was going to take place in 10 days.
While I am writing this, I have to come to the present.. Yesterday, I just sent off two CT Scans asking the IU surgeon to look at them and tell us if there is a chance for another surgery. So, two years later, we are where we started. My husband wants these new tumors out. They have grown back bigger and they are not like jelly, they are hard tumors. I don’t hold out hope like I did two years ago. I was so full of hope then. I remember that time of our one chance to grow old together…..
We were without income. My husband’s disability insurance was a cruel joke. It took 3 months to get it and it came in one lump some. By that time, our living expenses swallowed the money up like it was nothing. Thank God for those wonderful people who came along side of us and walked the financial troubles with us. However, when it came to money for transportation or lodging while my husband was there for the surgery and recovery, we had nothing to spend.
I contacted the social services at IU Med and found that there was a program with the Westin hotel that would pay for three nights stay for anyone who was having surgery for cancer. That was wonderful and the lady took our information down and sent me vouchers. I contacted another local agency and they gave us a gas card worth $50.00. That took care of getting us there.
The weather report came in saying that on the day of my husband’s surgery a hefty snow storm coming into the city. When I spoke with the social worker at the hospital at the beginning of the week, she urged us to come the night before and that way we would not be caught in the weather. So that is what we did.
My husband’s brother drove us over to the hotel and we checked in early on the day before the surgery. By this time, my husband could feel the tumors dropping into the lower part of his abdomen. His abdomen was getting larger and I could see the muscles in his arms and legs wasting. The color of his skin was a grey, death like color. I knew that this surgery couldn’t come fast enough. Without this surgery, I don’t think that he would have made it another month.
When we registered and went into the room, my husband laid down onto the bed and went to sleep. He slept from around three in the afternoon until the next morning. I had the afternoon and the evening to think and fret over the future. I was questioning whether this was my life because I didn’t recognize any part of this life at all. I was not to be a widow nor was it to include this kind of drama. We were to work the next 20 years to overcome the losses that we had in business and we were to retire back to the little family farm and enjoy our grandchildren. It would not be a easy life, but it would be the “golden years”. He wasn’t suppose to die and I was not suppose to be alone. We had been married just 13 years and we had been married to other people and missed our youth. God, where are you????
It was a time of terrible loneliness and I was afraid, yet I knew that he was not to die. I did pray this prayer and that was that if God could see that he was not to overcome this cancer, then let him die in surgery. That was my fleece and even though I wasn’t prepared for him to leave me, I knew that I needed this sign and somehow, I would be at peace.
The morning came and we were to be at the hospital by 6 AM. His brother came to pick us up and he took us to the registration. When we walked into the lobby, it was full of people waiting to be registered. I wondered how in the world would we get through with all of this before the time of his surgery, but I guess this was normal. In relatively short order, they called his name and we were on our way back to the surgery prep area. He said that he didn’t feel good, but that he was glad that the surgery was now.
He got into the hospital gown and I took his clothes with me. We were allowed to wait with him until they were ready for him. His brother had prayer with him. My son was with all of us and I was remembering my prayer. I didn’t sleep well and I womdered if last night may have been my very last night with him.
Little did I know until after the surgery, my husband had prayed the same prayer as I prayed. He asked God to take him if he wasn’t going to be able to overcome this cancer. All I knew when I watched him walk through those double doors into the surgery suite that it was in God’s hands and I had released the love of my life to go……