Friday, June 13, 2008

'The Man' Tales - Brain Cancer

When I got to the hospital in Edmonton, Cid’s uncle was there. He had driven from central British Columbia on the request of Cid’s mother who was still in Lethbridge. His creased and worried face had me on full alert as he met me outside Cid’s room. I shook his hand and told him who I was and why I was there. He tried to tell me what the doctor’s had thought had happened, but his heavy Italian accent made it hard for me to understand at first. He informed me that they were going to operate the next morning and try to remove the brain tumor. No one knew what the outcome would be. Shaking my head in understanding I went to enter the room, but his uncle put out his hand to stop me.

“Don’t be surprised by Cid’s condition when you get in there. He has lost his ability to speak English and doesn’t recognize anyone.”

I stared at him in disbelief. It had been less than a week since we had been lying together on the bed in my guestroom and listening to talk shows. How could this have happened in so short a time?

Taking a deep breath I entered the darkened room and went to stand beside his bed. His eyes were closed and a frown creased his forehead as if he was in deep thought. The room was darkened because the light affected him and I could barely see him in the gloom. Taking his hand I bent over and gently called his name. He opened his eyes and looked at me, but I knew he didn’t recognize me at all. It was absolutely obvious in the look he gave me and then the one he gave his uncle. Neither of us registered. I held his hand and felt how cool and smooth his skin was, but he didn’t respond at all when I gave it a small squeeze. Instead he withdrew it quickly and tucked it back under the covers, and my heart hurt.

Cid closed his eyes and drifted back to sleep as I stood beside his bed and watched him. After a while his uncle and I both went to stand outside the room to decide what to do. His uncle had arrived earlier and was tired from his long drive. I insisted he go and get some sleep as there was no way I was going to be leaving Cid alone. After giving me a great hug he gave his nephew one last look and left while I pulled up a chair and settled myself in for the wait.

Sometime in the night I woke suddenly and found myself in a strange room, sleeping in an uncomfortable chair. Once I oriented myself, I soon realized what had woken me. Cid was out of bed and standing in a corner talking to himself. I couldn’t understand a word he said but it was obvious that he was upset. The sound of him peeing into the corner got my attention and I sprinted for the nurse’s station. We all entered the room at once and a nurse tried to get Cid’s attention and failed, so all we could do was wait until he had relieved himself. Out of nowhere a janitor arrived with a mop and cleansers and while he cleaned up the corner, the nurses got Cid back into bed. He was so agitated and confused, and I knew he felt completely alone with no one there who could understand what he was saying. I felt helpless as I watched him thrash around in his bed and babble at us all. A nurse came with a hypodermic and in a few minutes he was settling back and calming down. While all of us were relieved, I could still feel his anguish and my own and I sat in the chair for the rest of that long night and watched this beautiful man that I loved so very much.

In the early morning hours they came and got him and wheeled him away to the operating room. A nurse came in and packed all his belongings and I had a horrible thought that they didn’t expect him to live. Instead she said that he would be going to another unit once the surgery was over with and that his clothes would be there when he arrived.

I went off to the cafeteria and tried to eat as I thought of them cutting into Cid’s skull and messing about in there. I was terribly afraid of what they would find and could barely get down my breakfast of fruit and tea. Afterwards I went to the unit where he would be transferred and checked to see if he was back from surgery yet. They smiled and said it would be a long wait and I went and sat in the lounge and tried to occupy my mind with the magazines that were strewn about. I haven’t a clue what I read that day, but eventually Cid’s uncle arrived and the two of us kept each other company as we checked the minute hand on the clock constantly. The longer we waited, the more worried both of us became although neither wanted to show it. I wrung my hands constantly until they ached but it was a welcome pain to distract me from the wait.

When the doors burst open and Cid’s gurney came through, I was up and striding towards him when he turned and looked my way. The smile that spread across his face hit my heart and made it glow. What he said next brought tears to my eyes and I wasn’t ashamed to let him see them.

“Hi Sunshine! What are you doing here?”

28 comments:

dND said...

How wonderful, yet more tears here too but having been through so many ups and downs so far...

Deborah x

laurie said...

man, if he's not The Man, there is no god.

Amy said...

Wow. That was not what I was expecting. What a moment!

Leatherdykeuk said...

You got me with the twist. What a marvellous upbeat.

Stinking Billy said...

I didn't think it possible, but your tale and the writing of it has reached yet another level. Absolutely gripping, dear heart!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

I read this and your last post one after the other and I had to read the end of this post before I started at the beginning. My heart was in my mouth wondering if Cid's time was up. I was relieved that it wasn't and was able to read the rest of your story in peace. Moving, moving, moving.

Mima said...

Tears for the right reason, what a wonderful surprise at the end of a harrowing post. I can't imagine how long that wait must have felt for you, and especially while you were on your own. It must have been a great comfort having his uncle there even if you didn't talk, just knowing that there was someone else who cared too.

Breezy said...

On catch up again Aims and I'm glad cos I could get to read this post straight away after the last. Wow Cid is the come back kid isn't he? I'm hoping he's now going to go from strength to strength

Mya said...

Blimey - what a rollercoaster!You had me on the edge of my seat - I nearly fell off it at the last line.

Mya x

david mcmahon said...

I was riveted.

Valleys Mam said...

phewwwww
you must be such a force for good in his life.just love your blog

Beckie said...

I'm glad this one ended on an up note.

I also wanted to let you know that I have moved. My new place is http://hineykapoople.com

Nora said...

Oh, thank goodness. Little miracles happen. Where do we go now, Aims? where will this lead us? I am afraid to wish for anything to happen, as it is all so precarious.

Melanie said...

Wonderful! Him just recognising that you were there must've been worth that long agonising wait while he was in surgery.

Daryl said...

Ah ...

Waiting patiently ... watching the second hand creep and then more story



:-Daryl

Maggie May said...

This is killing!

travelling, but not in love said...

Oh my goodness. Back on the rollercoaster. How wonderful that he recognised you again though.

merry weather said...

Oh Aims, what a finish! Well, is Cid the Man? This is teasing, and heart-rending!

bichonpawz said...

Your writing really IS riveting, Aims...absolutely riveting!! I could hardly breathe while reading that last one.....SO glad that it ended so well. OK....THE MAN! ???? I simply cannot wait to read the next installment. Hope all's well with you!!

Lane said...

That's my Cid!

John-Michael said...

From the Pits to the Pinnacles. Such a toll on emotions and physical reserves you have endured. I am pained at the cost that I know has been exacted on You through all of this. And hope that today finds You in far more comfort ... and Yes, even bliss.

Loving You ...

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness. Margie

aims said...

Thank you all for your comments.

However - with regards to the unfolding of this story - remember what your mother always told you....

Patience is a virtue.

girl with the mask said...

Ohmyword... I think I would have cried too. Lovely post.

Aunt Jo said...

I am here from Dave's Place. Great post. You are a wonderful story teller. Glad it had a happy ending. :o)

mrsnesbitt said...

I too was riveted!
Wonderful dialogue, emotions so well communicated.

Dx

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I would say your love brought him through that. Beautifully told.

CJ xx

San said...

"Hi, sunshine," indeed. The light of love is powerful. And this is a powerful story. Thank you.