Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I wrote this yesterday while waiting for my Mom's surgery to conclude.  The hospital network blocks blogs, evidently, because I wasn't able to get into mine, or any of the others I always read...

My Mom is undergoing a mastectomy today.  She is a 25 year survivor of breast cancer, having undergone a lumpectomy and radiation back in the 80’s.  She is strong, ornery, funny, and possibly the only person I know who could roll on back for a mastectomy laughing and cracking up the nurses.

Because Mom was only 42 when she first had the cancer, I have been getting mammograms twice a year now for at least four years, if not longer.   So, ladies, do your self-exams AND get a DIGITAL mammogram.  Do it for yourself, but also do it for all those that love you and count on you to be here a while. 
So while Mom is getting one removed, she is getting the other lifted, and the removed breast reconstructed.  Oh, and a tummy tuck.  Hells yeah, while you have the plastic surgeon in there mucking about, WHY NOT got the extra mile and get the stomach tuned up?  I have to admit, I am a little jealous.  Of my mother…who has breast cancer.  That sounds callous, but she’d understand and laugh.  Nothing I haven’t said to her face.  Once we get her a new hip, Mom will be a new and improved model, and she might be able to find me a new Daddy!  

That is our little joke.  Mom has been married twice.  One ended in divorce (my bio dad) and one in death (my step-dad, my beloved Pop).  When Pop died almost two years ago, it was traumatic of course, but we are not the maudlin type.  Mom and I were out to lunch a week or so later, and the waiter was a very nice older gentleman.  Mom recognized this in him, and I asked “will he be my new Daddy??”  She cracked up, and since then she always points out potential “Daddys” to me. 
While Mom has been in surgery I have been sitting in the family lobby, treating it as my own personal office.  Free Wi-Fi!  Comfy chairs to set up camp in.  The sprawl of my stuff, grows by the hour.  Stacks of magazines (untouched), iTouch, cell phone, tea mug, back pack, snacks.  No one knows me here.  I have been left alone ALL day, except for when the surgeon came out to let me know how removal went.  It’s been a glorious day free of any and all responsibility, well except to call about 20 people on her list of “must” calls.  Saving that for later, I loathe the telephone.

Which leads me to a funny story involving a lobby full of tense people waiting on surgical outcomes of loved ones, and one old lady on a cell phone.  She was considerate enough to walk away from the waiting area, but loud enough that people on floors 3, 4, 5, and 6 probably know about the potty habits of her daughter’s dog.  She talked for a good 45 minutes, perhaps longer, because I didn’t hear Regis’ annoying voice in the background any more.  Anyway, I would normally be the first one to start mumbling like a sociopath about ignorant cell phone users, but this time I was blissfully engrossed with Facebook when I heard other people bitching and joking about her.  Caught one woman’s eye and gave her the knowing nod, and left it at that.  Some old guy between us seem bewildered, like he had no idea what any of were talking about.  Until…

…she came and sat down right next to him.  I literally spit some of my tea out.  The woman I exchanged the nod with (the loudest of the bitchers) went immediately rigid, red, and stared silently in front of her.  The guy next to me got up and actually left (no empty seats to move to…he he), and everything was awkwardly quiet.  Of course it was then that the nurse came back to get me, interrupting what was sure to be more awkward fun to behold.

Where Mom was prepped was a long corridor of little rooms with just thin curtains separating rooms.  I sat down, got all comfy and heard a very  booming male voice start to tell a story about a pregnant mule.  When I caught Mom’s eye, she clucked her tongue and said “that guy hasn’t shut the hell up since I got back here”.   It was then that my SIL texted me to ask how things were going, and what time surgery was supposed to be.  I answered her back saying that I hope they are on time, because Mom is also notoriously impatient.  SIL’s reply:  “they’d be smart to drug her now.”  I love my family.

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