Sunday, April 28, 2013

ALL BY MYSELF


Alex - Northern Ontario 2009
There I was at the cancer centre laid out in “stretcher bay”.  I still could not believe that my neutrophil count was at 0.0 and that they would not let me go home.  It was getting late in the afternoon so Mike decided that he better go home to meet the kids as soon as they got home from school to tell them what was going on.  He wasn’t looking forward to that because he knew it would scare them.  He also planned to get me some pjs, slippers, clothes, toothbrush, and my quilt and then come back as soon as he could.  I knew he didn’t want to leave me there by myself but I told him to go and that I’d be fine.  After he left I was laying there for what seemed like hours, with this stupid mask on, feeling physically ill and so very alone and scared.  I wanted my Mommy.  Really badly.

As soon as Mike left the hospital he called his mother and my Dad to let them know what was going on.  I think he had a hard time when he left me there.  In fact I think at one point he couldn’t drive because he couldn’t focus.  He had to pull over to the side of the road so that he could pull himself together and face the task of telling the kids.  I guess after he told my Dad the phone got passed from my Dad to Sheila and she said that my Dad was already going to pack his bags to come racing to Ottawa.  How did I get so lucky to have THREE heroes in my life?  My Dad, my husband and my son.  Three amazing men that love me so much it makes my heart sometimes feel like it’s simply going to burst.  I know that’s corny but it’s true.

Me & My Dad -
Gore Bay, Ontario 2012
This was yet another difficult thing that Mike had to go through.  It was him that had to deal with the kids and all the emotional ups and downs with them because they didn’t want to worry or upset me.  I have no idea how Mike was able to handle all of this and stay so strong for our children too.  This particular setback was going to be hard to get across to the kids.  He was afraid that they might not believe him and think that things were far worse than what he was letting on.  Mike thought he understood everything that was wrong with me as explained by the doctors and staff at the cancer centre but then he started second guessing that himself.  What if things were far worse than what we thought?  At this time last year our life was so amazing and wonderful.  How could things have changed so fast?  How did we get to this point?  It was like being caught up in a nightmare and he was waiting to wake up to a bright sunny morning.  Now he had to drive the rest of the way home and pull the kids further into the nightmare.

Me - Lake George, NY 2004
Meanwhile, back at the cancer centre, (“ranch” sounds better but it doesn’t work with this story) the nurses were trying to confirm a bed for me at the hospital (attached to the cancer centre) so that I could be moved over there.  The cancer centre was closing down for the day and there was pretty much nobody around anymore except the two nurses waiting for the bed confirmation.  And me.  I felt so bad that they were there so late and probably had families waiting for them at home.  I told them to just wheel me over to the hospital and leave me on the stretcher in the hallway at the hospital and go home.  Someone would get me into a room eventually.  Of course they didn’t do that.  They waited with me and I finally got moved over to the hospital in the early evening.  Mike came back by himself with some things for me and they put me in a room temporarily until something was prepared for me on the oncology floor. 

Since I couldn’t be around any infection whatsoever, I was put in a room by myself in isolation.  Nobody could come in without a mask and gloves on.  Mike eventually left once I’d fallen asleep for the night.  I don’t remember too much of that first evening because I had such a fever and I was fatigued and totally out of it to say the least.  One thing I do remember is how very alone I felt.

All By Myself - Celine Dion


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