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.