Andrea's column: GobsmackedWhether you pray, chant, or dance naked in your garden, will you please send positive thoughts my way?
By: Andrea Langworthy, Rosemount Town Pages
If the doctor had told me I was pregnant, I would not have been more surprised. But the reason he called at eight o’clock last Wednesday morning, the day after I had a CT scan, was because I had a “possible” mass on my lung.
He would fax the reports to my primary care physician. I was to call her immediately. A couple of hours later, my doctor phoned. She had left a message for the thoracic surgeon. His office would get in touch with me.
“I’m so sorry,” she said. I knew she was.
By that afternoon, I had spoken with the surgeon’s nurse twice. She said he wanted me to have a PET scan. We set it up for Friday.
By two o’clock on Friday, I was home. A weekend to wait until my appointment with the surgeon. The man who would tell me what was going on. If I would still need a biopsy. If the tumor was in a place where he could operate. If I had two weeks or 20 years ahead of me.
That night, I got five hours of sleep. I woke up to see a long line of cigarettes marching in front of my eyes. Every Marlboro and Merit I ever smoked. The first one when I was seven. The teenaged boy who lived next door offered it to me and my girlfriend. We coughed and choked. He laughed.
Every one I had at the White Castle on Lake Street when my high school friends and I drank Cherry Cokes and tried to be cool. The one I had in my hospital room 45 years ago after my daughter was born.
The one that was to be my last — Oct. 1, 1993 — a few months before the birth of my first grandchild. I didn’t quit for health reasons but because I did not want to be called “smelly Grandma.”
At the tail end of the parade was a beat up Camel. One I found in a crumpled pack in my garage three years after I kicked my habit. I grabbed some matches that day, poured a glass of Chardonnay and headed for the deck. Two drags and I was coughing and sputtering like a grade school kid.
I did a bit of sputtering during my appointment with the surgeon, too. He explained the scans to my husband and me and said he wasn’t ready to call the cloudy blob (my words) cancer. He said with my difficulty swallowing and the way I choke on food sometimes, it could be that a piece of food had aspirated in my bronchial tube. A bronchoscopy would tell us.
Now, I wait. Two days for the pre-op exam. A few more for the procedure. Maybe a day or two for the results. The words of a friend ring in my ears. “Waiting is the worst part,” she said. “And it always seems to be over a weekend.”
Dear readers, please wait with me. As we do, may I make one small request? Whether you pray, chant, or dance naked in your garden, will you please send positive thoughts my way?