Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Be Careful What You Wish For

Main Entry: tu·mor
Variant(s): or chiefly British tu·mour /t(y)ΓΌ-mr/Function: noun: an abnormal benign or malignant new growth of tissue that possesses no physiological function and arises from uncontrolled usually rapid cellular proliferation -- see CANCER 1, CARCINOMA, SARCOMA - tu·mor·like /-lk/ adjective

"Fuck!" If I were an actress featured on the show Inside the Actor's Studio and James Lipton asked me what my favorite curse word is I would not hesitate, "Fuck!" I don't think it can be written without an exclamation point, at least not when it's being used an an expletive. I like its brevity and the hard K sound at the end. I like the feeling of the word that starts with F because I have to tuck my bottom lip in to make it and that's the same thing I do when I am trying to tame my emotions; chew on my bottom lip. So I can tuck my lip in while I'm deciding whether the situation truly warrants an emphatic "Fuck!" or not. This one definitely does.

After an inordinately long four hour scope of Bubba's upper digestive tract, a doctor whom I have never met (but who was strikingly young and handsome) walked out and introduced himself. He looks very much like my internist and I've had a (very benign) crush on him for years, so I instantly felt at ease with him. I was expecting an older, white haired gentleman with no semblance of a bedside manner, so I was pleasantly surprised. I had been freezing in a generically uncomfortable waiting room chair for over two hours reading articles about celebrities' babies and subsequent weight loss (or lack thereof) and fully expecting this scan, our fourth, to turn out to be another colossal waste of time and insurance money.

Thus, my mind was not clouded with worry as Dr. S took my hand in both of his and sat in the chair across from me. His puppy dog brown eyes looked into mine and he uttered the words, "We found a tumor. Blah, blah, blah." Okay, so he didn't actually say, "blah, blah, blah", but I was busy shaking my head back and forth to clear my ears so he could rewind and push play again. I don't think the earth's rotation came to a screeching halt, but it did slow down noticeably. My years of medical training served me well, enabling me to calmly question him and glean as much information as he had. Unfortunately, the information he had was not comforting.  

The tumor is large and in a very difficult place. By the time they located it, my husband had been under for so long that they didn't dare do any sort of biopsy, so instead they measured it and brought him to the recovery room. They had apparently had to give him enough drugs to put an elephant to sleep in order to keep him from retching the camera back up, so it was not likely that he would awaken any time soon.

I sat near him in the recovery room trying not to let my years of medical training push me over the edge into the Grand Canyon of speculation. He opened his eyes every few minutes and would say, "Oh, hi! Did they find anything interesting down there?" in a drunken stupor sort of way. The beauty and the curse of Versed is that he never remembers anything he hears for the first few hours afterward, so I would reply, "Let's talk about it later. Get some rest." It's a bit like the movie Groundhog Day where Bill Murray lives the same day over and over. His blue eyes would roll open and he would ask, yet again, whether they had found anything. Finally, I told him in my calmest, most supportive, loving-wife-and-partner voice that they saw a large tumor on the scope. His reply: "Is it one of those 40 pound ones that they can take out so I can stop doing Weight Watchers?" 

9 comments:

Wanda Tucker said...

Yes, that word is definitely in order. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Anonymous said...

That would be the word I would use plus many more. Wow, I do not know what to say other thank if there is anything I can do to help you all please let me know. My prayers are with you and your family. Your friend, Janet

Jenny Rough said...

Oh Kari I'm sorry! I was just thinking the other day that awhile back you'd blogged about the mysterious stomach ailment but never revisted the topic. I was hoping it had gone away for good. Ron and I will pray for you and your husband and girls.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Oh, Kari, I'm feeling for you! My love, prayers and good thoughts are all moving their way up the I5 corridor right now.

Michelle O'Neil said...

Kari,

You are strong. Don't forget.

Sending you lots and lots of love and light!

XO

kario said...

Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts. We are trying not to project too far into the future right now and staying cool for the girls. We'll keep you posted. I am so thankful for our support network. You guys are wonderful.

Mother Jones RN said...

Kario, I don't know what to say, but I think you summed is up well with that word. My husband has lived through two rounds of the "Big C," and I've also used that word alot. There isn't much I can do but listen. E-mail me anytime. I'm only a mouse click away.

Miss Devylish said...

It's a good word for a myriad of uses.. I love you both and you know I'm here. We'll get you thru this no matter what.
xoxo

ammogirl said...

Go ahead and scream it if you want to. I can't offer support in person but I'll always be an email away.

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