When morning came, I scooted down to the cafeteria for my breakfast and took it back with me to Cid’s room. His breakfast arrived about the same time as I did, and we sat up on the bed together and ate – just like we use to do at my kitchen counter. We talked about the imminent arrival of Cid’s mother and how that would change everything. I kissed Cid’s stubbly cheek when he rolled his eyes and shook his head over how his mother was going to react to everything. It had been quiet and cozy with just the two of us while his uncle went to Lethbridge to pick up his mother. These were stolen moments – and we knew it.
Cid was halfway through his nebulizer treatment when the gurney arrived to take him down for an xray to see if the radiation had helped. I marvelled at Cid’s graceful and kind manner with everyone he dealt with – from nurse to porter to doctor. I kept telling myself to remember this – remember this. Don’t let it slip through those holes that had appeared with the mental breakdown - and to take these memories and learn from them. Afterwards we cuddled on Cid’s bed once more and waited for the doctor.
That wait was hard.
We held each other tightly, barely moving away from each other as time ticked by. When the doctor walked into the room, I thought I was going to throw up with the apprehension I felt, and my mind reeled as I wondered how Cid was feeling. His grip on my hands was tight – his knuckles showing white and my hands turning red under his grasp.
This doctor, who had performed a small miracle on Cid’s brain, now stood in front of us with a blank face and a chart in his hand that we couldn’t see or read. He looked at the two of us, and our obvious love for each other and passion for more life together touched something inside him. I could see it happening. And I could see the answer before he even spoke.
“I’m sorry Cid. I really am. But the radiation didn’t do anything at all. In fact the tumor is growing so quickly and the xrays from yesterday and today already show the obvious change.”
“Perhaps more radiation?” Cid asked so quietly we could hardly hear him.
The doctor bit his lip and shook his head without saying a word.
“Are you sure there isn’t one surgeon that could operate and perform some kind of miracle?” I couldn’t stop hoping and I had to ask. I had to.
This miracle worker, who had given me such hope and happiness, now shook his head and took Cid’s free hand. “I suggest that you call whoever you need to call. Today. The hospital has on call every religious person you might want to talk to.” He paused for a moment and looked at our faces for a moment before he continued. “I’m really sorry.”
When he had gone, Cid and I took a breath and looked at each other. I tried to smile through the tears that were streaming down my face, and Cid reached out and held me without saying a word.