Sunday, August 9, 2009

Have a Nice Day

Ever notice how often people say, "Have a nice day" instead of extending a simple "thanks" or "goodbye?" I never noticed. Until Wednesday, that is.

On that day it seemed that's all I heard : from the receptionist, "Have a nice day!" From the pharmacist, "Have a nice day!" From the gas station attendant and bank clerk and grocery attendant, "Have a nice day!"

And I wanted to slap each and every one of them and tell them to shut the hell up because no, as a matter of fact I won't be having a nice day since my mother was just diagnosed with stage 3 Ovarian cancer and I'm sick to my stomach and stressed and scared, and until every single cancerous cell is eradicated from her body and I know that she's going to be around to celebrate my sister's "zero-birthday" in two years, be with us to enjoy Christmas 2013, or attend her granddaughter's graduation ceremony from veterinary school in eight years, I don't know when any of us might ever have a nice day again so please, keep your damn "have a nice day" to yourself.

That's what I wanted to say.

But I bit my tongue. There's no sense wasting energy on someone's misguided attempt at civility.

We have bigger battles in store.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

And the Wait Continues

In the Mitchell clan, mom has long been known for saying, "Boy, when you wake up in the morning, you just never know how your day is going to end."

And she doesn't mean in a "whoohoo, I just won the Lottery!" kind of way. She's always been a bit ominious, my mom.

But her words came back to me late Friday afternoon when I finally got the call from Dr. Sidhu. The call that I'd been waiting for all week. The call to tell me that mom's biopsy results came back negative, all she has is a little infection, but is otherwise fine, and here's a prescription for some magic pills to make her all better.

That's not quite how it went.

"...bladdy-blahblahblah," Dr. Sidhu said. "...abnormal cells... blahblahblah.... appointment with an Oncologist... bladdy-blahblah."

That's about all I heard. When our call wrapped up, I swear I could hear my brain buzzing like it had just been through a power surge. I was expecting this call, but wasn't expecting this call.

The brain. Fried.

But I did hear Dr. Sidhu say that the biopsy results were inconclusive. Additional blood work, which was done yesterday, may yield more answers. And so on Wednesday my mom, sister and I have a follow-up appointment with a new doctor, an Oncologist named Dr. Simmons. Hopefully, he'll be able to explain the origin and significance of these "abnormal cells."

In the meantime, all we can do is take the advice admonished by Dr. Sidhu: "Hope for the best," she told me on Friday, "and prepare for the worst." Advice that I've tweaked just a bit.

Prepare for the worst and pray for the best.
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