We couldn’t wait to get out of there.
AFTER PUTTING 2,500 MILES on the car,
traveling back and forth all summer,
and spending 60 hours in the Clinical Trial Unit,
plus 4 nights boxed into a motel room
to be available for next-day check-ups,
and trying to stay on top of things here while there
and feeling at times stretched beyond our abilities in that,
and sometimes feeling the disappointment of others
when participation in the trial
precluded participation in other things,
we were happy to come to the LAST TREATMENT DAY on Monday.
What a celebratory mood we were in!
* * *
WE SPENT LAST WEEKEND strategizing Monday’s food.
I ventured forth at midday
and brought back the lunch we’d decided upon.
And we already knew what dinner would be.
We calculated the exact minute we’d be sprung,
and long before it arrived
we were packed up.
Books and pens and Blackberrys all tucked away.
We were READY and EAGER to go.
But … a fleeting comment from our nurse kept us seated.
* * *
SHE’D HEARD THE DOCTOR talking to us
about the stem cell transplant
and it caught her ear.
“Just learned my younger sister might have one,” she said.
She told us the diagnosis,
about which her sister’s doctor had said,
“There’s nothing we can do for you.”
Since then, a stem cell transplant
has risen as a possibility.
* * *
SHE’D ALREADY HANDED US our walking papers,
but neither of us gave
even the slightest hint of wanting to bolt.
We stayed, opting INTO a conversation
we could just as easily have avoided.
It was a bit like Paul and Silas
after the prison doors had fallen open
and they were able to leave, but didn’t.
There are moments in life
when you know you are in the right place
and that your next step is to STAY PUT.
* * *
A LOT HAS CHANGED in a year! It isn’t that, a year ago, we wouldn’t have stayed, but that, a year ago, we would not have felt qualified to have the conversation, which, in the end, was mainly expressing interest and then listening. That’s all. No magic.