Well, this has been a strange day so far. I’m writing this in Balboa Naval Hospital, while my Mom is sleeping and recovering from the surgery this morning.
The day started with my brother calling me at 4 am, upset because Mom’s ride to and from the hospital had fallen through. We couldn’t get a cab company who was willing to take a credit card over the phone, so she ended up driving herself in.
My sister called me at work and told me that Mom was having some of her vertebrae cemented together because the cancer had deteriorated her spine. While they were in there, they took some fluid to see how far and fast the cancer is spreading. She would be in no shape to drive herself home.
So I called my boss and told her I’d be in San Diego the rest of the week, then went home, packed (good thing I’m used to it and always have toiletries ready to go), called the airline, kissed John and the cats good-bye and went to the airport.
Now, you all know that I haven’t flown since Dad’s funeral, which was just a few days before 9/11. I hate flying so much that I have a therapist, and I hadn’t had time to psych myself up for this at all.
I was surprised that I breezed through the check-in and security so easily. I didn’t have a bag to check, which helped, though oddly, my platinum watch and my some-kind-of-metal underwire in my bra set off the metal detectors. This has never happened before, so I’m assuming they sent the metal detectors to sensitivity training.
And with the help of the two v’s (valium and vodka, yes, in the morning), I got here. And now I’m in the hospital mode that I remember so well from when Dad was in Stanford: a mixture of boredom and fear, waiting for the doctors. They told me three hours ago that he’d be here, but not yet. At least Mom’s asleep and I’m here in one piece. It was all worth it to see the look on her face when she saw me.