Imagine someone sitting you down to tell you something unexpected and life changing. “We’re getting a divorce,” perhaps, or “I’ve gambled away our life savings.” I’ve delivered a few of these disclosures myself. There was the “Since I’m sure you’d never guess, I’m gay,” or “By the way, I have leukemia.”
Today’s personal trauma at the Cancer Centre may seem like nothing in comparison to those examples. After I refused the public weigh in (it’s the Cancer Centre, not Weight Watchers, I asserted), the nurse assessed me, and Dr. Blood came in. I hadn’t seen her for a while, just her bloody protégés, while she monitored my care from behind the scenes.
She opened with “There’s something I should tell you.” Funny, I wasn’t worried my health was in danger. (I’m fine, by the way, on the leukemia front.) Rather, I rightly assumed she was going to reveal something about herself. She told us that next August she’d be leaving for a year-long sabbatical in London. She’d arrange for a colleague to assume my care in her absence. My heart sank.
This might be no big deal to those of you who roll with the punches (does anyone roll with the punches?) but I’m no roller. I’m Linus and Dr. Blood just stole my security blanket before I was ready to give it up. (You may recall that Linus was never ready to part with his blanket.)
Why is this a big deal? Dr. Blood is the one who saved my life when I was gravely ill in the ICU. She’s the one J. and I want the ER docs to consult if I’m in medical distress. She’s the one who has overseen my hospital care during admissions, ensuring the complexities of my condition are understood and sharing her expertise as needed. She’s my security blanket. Were I not under her care, I’d be dead by now.
I took the news well in the moment, I thought, showing appropriate interest and excitement for her. I told her now I’d have to live long enough to see her upon her return. We all chuckled. Then I headed off to fetch my chemotherapy from the pharmacy, whereupon the news hit me and I started tearing up. The pharmacist may have wondered what she’d said to make me so emotional.
Just in time, my favourite nurse practitioner, Stephanie, who has been MIA for months, appeared. Stephanie is my angel in heaven, except she’s here on earth. She gave me a hug, whereupon my dam burst. Poor Stephanie. I told her why I was upset and she said all the right things, as she always does. She assured me Dr. Blood would find a highly competent colleague to oversee my care. She also promised that she would be around if I ran into trouble. She volunteered to be my little blue blankie in Dr. Blood’s absence.
I spent the rest of the day sulking with Saddy on the sofa. I’ll stop moping soon; I just need a few days to get my head around this upheaval. J. cheered me up by reminding me of all the potential new fodder for my blog. J. always finds that silver lining.
Preempted post will be published Friday.