Saturday, April 2, 2011

one last hurdle

Yesterday I got a text from my brother. His abdominal sonogram was fine, or as fine as it could be with all he's got going on inside. But, fine enough to get a thumb's up. All he needs is an all clear from the many vials of blood he gave last week, to determine liver function and whether or not cirrhosis has shown up. We should hear results by Monday afternoon.

And then, we get a date.

Oh. My. God.

Getting to that all clear text came after a stomach-churning afternoon (anonymous #1, this isn't whining, but if you're looking for sunshine and rainbows, please stop reading now). He was supposed to hear from his doctor but it turned out she was off on Fridays, which wasn't what he'd been told. The report was then faxed to him, so he could forward it to his nephrologist.

He read the entire thing to me.

I don't know that either of us understood a word.

It didn't sound good though. Then again, it wasn't a report of a healthy mid-section. And, who were we to possibly interpret what any of it meant. A chill went through me as he rattled off cyst sizes and abnormalities and suggestions of further testing. My first thought was to send it to someone in the medical field who might be able to read and make sense of it for us. In that moment, it would have been a true gift.

But, there wasn't anyone to send it to.

And so, we waited.

I broke down. Which doesn't happen often. I may vent here, voice frustration, rail against the enormity of what's going on, but I don't let any of it take over, mostly for fear I won't be able to get it all back together after the storm.

That having no one to call was my tipping point. Tears started until I was sobbing so hard I had trouble breathing. What if everything fell apart? What if, at this point after months and months of testing, we couldn't continue. What would my brother do? Ice flowed through me, leaving me shaking with dread.

Facing the dark side of this is a place I never wanted to go. And I never want to go again.

Despite my fear of getting stuck in the storm, I survived. I had to pick Jack up at school. I couldn't talk to anyone in the yard though. I couldn't be light and social and present. I bought a huge piece of chocolate cake on the way home (I haven't done that in years), and ate it in one sitting. I drank too much hot chocolate. I shopped for more good luck talismans on etsy. I took a really long nap.

Waking up to find the good-to-go text.

Now? More waiting. And then, should all be ok, it's countdown to surgery and then many what ifs that go along with that.

Part of me feels like I deserve some major prize after all this is done, for having survived the experience. Truth is, there would be no bigger reward than my kidney becoming his and my brother feeling better.

1 comment:

  1. You're awesome for going through all of this for your brother. Stay strong.