Wednesday, July 2, 2008

'The Man' Tales - Off we go to radiation

They came and got us about an hour later. Paramedics bundled Cid up and the nurses brought the crash cart and wired Cid up to it. Once we were all ready, they wheeled Cid’s gurney out and down to the loading dock for the ambulances. Laws here in Alberta prohibit anyone besides the patient from riding in the ambulance. I knew they were going to refuse my admittance long before they told me just that, and I smiled and waved once Cid was inside and told them I’d meet them at the Cross Cancer Center. Surprisingly both of us arrived around the same time, and I had still to go and get Cid’s car from the parking lot when they were pulling away from the hospital. You just never know about traffic patterns do you?

As it was the weekend, the Cancer Center was mostly quiet with locked doors and darkened rooms everywhere you looked. We proceeded down the hallways on quiet feet and all of us talked in hushed tones. We laughed when we realized this and Cid grinned from behind his oxygen mask and tightened his hold on my hand. Once we got to the radiation area, a physician and technician appeared and they took possession of Cid’s gurney and pushed him through a doorway with that sign on it that warns of the proximity of nuclear stuff. The door was red – the surrounding walls outside that area were red. And I was blue with streaks of yellow and small hopeful areas of green somewhere inside me.

As they wheeled Cid through the door, they held up a hand in the stop motion as I tried to follow through. Shrugging my shoulders I gave Cid the thumbs up and told him I’d be waiting for him just outside when he was done. Finding a seat, I perched on the edge and flipped through tattered magazines and chewed on my fingernails. When I got tired of doing both of those things – I prayed. Long and hard and in as many variations as I could think of.

I could hear machines winding up and dying down, then winding up again. I may have been wrong, but I thought I saw the lights dim at one point as well. The paramedics had deserted me as they dashed off for a cup of coffee, and it was a long lonely wait in the bowels of this quiet building. I wished for more activity to take my mind off how the building already felt like a tomb. But that wasn’t to be had. Instead, the clock ticked – slowly. And my heart hurt – dreadfully. I kept trying to find wood to touch whenever I thought of the possibilities of this radiation not working. Everything was plastic. So I patted my head repeatedly.

When the doors finally opened and Cid’s loving face appeared once more behind his oxygen mask – I thought I was going to break down and cry right there. Instead I leaned over and lifted his mask and kissed him long and softly. When I raised my head and replaced the oxygen mask, I found the paramedics had magically appeared at the foot of the gurney – almost like they had been beamed in from wherever they had been.

When we arrived back at the hospital, it was a wait again situation and I climbed back up onto Cid’s bed and we shared the space together, quietly. We wouldn’t know until the next day if the radiation had had any effect whatsoever. To keep Cid’s mind off it, I talked about future plans as if none of this was happening. Cid’s gratitude was evident and he patted my hands or hugged me close.

When the day ended and we snuggled once more behind our curtains, I noted that Cid’s harsh breathing had not abated at all. While he slept – I prayed once more and touched the wooden chair sitting beside the bed repeatedly.

21 comments:

Leatherdykeuk said...

Oh dear. I can't help feeling that nothing good is going to happen. *hugs*

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

There's a curious feeling of emptiness in your post. It's as if we are all holding our breath and waiting. I really do feel as if we are all in your story now! Strange? M xx

CrazyCath said...

Wow Aims - what a rollercoaster. You have done so well to stay strong through this time. Cid will be forever as grateful for that as you are to him for his strength and support.

And you are one fantastic writer. Not once has your writing changed, sagged, been the "boring bit" or anything like that. Maybe because it is all REAL and your own experiences, but you can't half write. Keep going. (((HUGS)))

CrazyCath said...

And yes, I agree with A Mother's Place...
We all ARE in your story now. I am compelled to come back and see, and I hold my breath, cry, laugh, feel the relief, the angst...
This is all down to the way you write too.

CrazyCath said...

Aims - I have an award for you....

Maggie May said...

It is true...... There IS an emptiness & an air of resignation in this post. Feel sad for you!

I Beatrice said...

Dear, good Cid - I too am hanging on in there for you with every piece of wood (or scrap of hope) I can lay hands on!

travelling, but not in love said...

my breath is held.

my hopes aren't raised.

Lane said...

Somehow I don't think the wood was enough. Oh my:-(

Irene said...

I hope that somewhere in the past, when it was necessary, I was touching a whole bunch of wood. Maybe it was when I lived in the hills and was surrounded by it and wishing on the moon all the time. Something good must come out of it.

aims said...

Rachel - Thanks for the hugs. It means a lot to me.

Margot - Yes - There is definitely a waiting here. Aren't we all waiting to find out the results when the doctor comes in the morning? However - I am grateful that in the telling I have all of you waiting with me...as the waiting alone through that night was horrific.

Crazycath - On the outside strong - on the inside wanting to curl up and let someone else take over.
Thanks for your kind words and being in my story as well. And for the lovely award!

Maggie - I was trying to convey how I felt that night. I see you feel it too.

Dearest B - Your description of Cid is so accurate. Dear and good. Perfect.

TBNIL - I know.

Lane - Your sense of dismay - especially after cheering for him for so long - is very obvious.

Irene - I think you must have held onto a log and floated through the worst on it. Something good did come of it for you - and I am so happy for you.

Living the Dream said...

Oh aims, I can't bear it, and if your readers can't bear it, how on earth did you? We are all here, waiting and praying like you did, so surely...........
God bless you aims and God bless Cid

Melanie said...

Morning Aims, I do hope the Drs finally have some good news for Cid and you. I'm glad you were allowed to be together in the hospitals.

Melanie said...

Hi Aims, the crow was blanket stitched watching Jerry Springer while laying on my back stretched out on the sofa. I feel so normal after watching that programme. LOL Maybe that effected my stitching?

Lehners in France said...

Oh Aims, I can see you both behind that curtain. I do so wish the outcome is happy. Debs x

John-Michael said...

There can be no better blessing in any relationship than a reliable Constancy. You and Yours are so blessed. And I am blessed with this continual demonstration of the beautiful character of your Constant Love.

Lovingly ...

Mima said...

Aims, I have had a visit with my Grandpa today, just being there and talking happy things regardless of how I was feeling, so I have some idea of how difficult this must have been for you. But to have that sort of uncertainty thrown in as well. I'm touching some wood for you.

rosiero said...

Oh aims. You have been such a comfort to me and yet you have had your massive share of ups and downs too. This must have been truly wretched.

bichonpawz said...

Still holding my breath, Aims!!

Breezy said...

Aims you are certainly repaying all the support Cid gave you through your troubles. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for him

Dumdad said...

Aims,

Thank you for popping over my way. Now my turn to explore your blog.