Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A really great anniversary

March 31 was the two year anniversary of Little Warrior becoming cancer-free. Last year, I ruminated on what a difference a year makes. Of course, as Rev. Cynthia notes, what a difference a day can make.

A day ... an hour ... a minute. Out of all of it, I think I know the worst minute. More than the initial diagnosis, more than being told "the chemo isn't working," the worst moment, for me, came on March 31. When I walked down a very long, sterile hall, then handed LW over to the anesthesiologist to go in for surgery.

Such a wonderful doctor, the anesthesiologist. "It's okay. Take your time. Kiss her. We'll take good care of her," she soothed me, then taking LW in her own arms to go through the scary swinging doors that led to ...

Well, in LW's case, they led to life. To survival.

But I didn't know that yet. Not when I let her go out of my arms.

I imagine the best moment happened that day, too. Was it when we got the first phone call up from the operating room and they said that they were finished with the first kidney, and that they'd saved 2/3 of that kidney? We knew that all she needed to live was 1/2 of 1 kidney. So that phone call meant life.

Maybe it was at the end of the surgery when the surgeon came out to talk to us. He looked so, so tired. The entire surgery ... I can't remember ... 10 hours? 12? He came out. I had already steeled myself for him to say that they hadn't been able to save any of the second kidney. "We saved 1/2."

1/2! 1/2 + 2/3 is more than 1 and we knew plenty of people who lived good long lives with one kidney. It was unexpected. It was far more than we could have hoped.

My parents and mother-in-law went home and The Husband and I went to the cafeteria to eat while LW was in recovery, as the doctors and nurses dealt with getting her out of anesthesia, inserting a breathing tube. It would probably be a couple of hours before we could see her.

We got our food and sat down. Immediately, we got a phone call from the very delighted anesthesiologist. "She's ready! She's so strong, she's breathing on her own!"

Maybe that was the best moment. I don't know.

In retrospect, for the worst day of my life, it was a pretty damn good day.


goodwolve said...

You have captured those moment with such grace.

plaidshoes said...

I can't imagine how hard a time that must have been. I am so glad to read that she is doing so well!

Terri Dennehy Pahucki said...

Wow- what a day--the last of that awful month of March-- for a letting go-- and a GLORIOUS resurrection! Beautiful post.

Ms. Theologian said...

She's such a cutie! It's funny how there can be such a mix of terrible and joy on the same day.

elizabethslittleblog said...

I can't believe it has been that long! I can't believe I've been reading this since before then. It is so funny how we don't know each other yet we do. She looks like such a little girl now - when I read about her, I still think of her as a baby. Wow. Thank you so much for all your sharing. With much peace, Elizabeth

uumomma said...

She's so beautiful. What a day, indeed.