(NOTE: this entry was written post surgery. I found myself completely unable to write about it as it was happening).
Due to an error, she has been taking her anticoagulant for several days too long. Her blood takes 4x the normal amount of time to clot.
Surgery must be delayed.
From what she tells me both her surgeon and surgical scheduling are a bit miffed by this, as though she were an errant child who had willfully stolen a cookie before dinner. Naughty naughty. But there is no help for it, and surgery is moved back by nine days.
It doesn’t sound like so very long, does it? Just over a week. No big deal.
It’s a big deal.
There are lots of things that we don’t know about Lump – the most important being how prone it is to spread. But the one thing that we do know, with an absolute and chilling certainty, is that it grows – fast. Very fast. Hatefully, malevolently, terrifyingly fast.
Every night I watch her sleep. Every night my eyes are drawn to that spot. And every night I think of Lump, battered but not destroyed, lurking within her and growing stronger. Getting bigger again. Looming like a thunderhead within her flesh.
We were both psyched up for the surgery, and had primed ourselves to face the stresses and uncertainty of that procedure. We were ready to deal with that day and that procedure and the possibility of problems. But now we had to wait. Wait nine days, knowing that nothing, nothing would get better during that time.
It’s like being squeezed in a vice. Mentally it’s hard to catch my breath. Half the time (the time I am supposed to be sleeping generally) I want to run around and let off steam and act like a screaming nutcase. The other half of the time (the time I am supposed to be awake, generally) I just want to curl up and fall into a deep slumber, not to be awakened for nine days.
I hate Lump and I fear Lump for what Lump is doing to her. I want, more than anything, for her surgeon to go in and cut Lump out of her, stab Lump with a scalpel, and throw Lump into a pile of medical waste for incineration. For nine days my dreamt-of retribution is delayed and I feel constantly jittery and unfocused, like I have had too much coffee while pulling an all-nighter.
Of course we get through it. What else can we do? It’s a setback, and it’s difficult, and there are moments when the tension or despair or frustration rise and threaten to overwhelm. And I wish I could say that the nine days are a breeze, filled with enjoyment of life and living in the moment and pleasant times – and there is some of that. A lot of that actually. That doesn’t make up for all the stress and fear though. Or the sense of anticipation betrayed. It’s HARD to get through because it is a HARD thing for us.
But in the end we make it. She makes it. I make it. The time passes and we go on.