A miracle?

One summer we packed the kids plus Uncle Jer and Katherine in cars and drove to Southern California for a vacation.

At the end of the visit my mom dropped a bomb. The doctor had found a tumor on her cervix. It appeared to be growing rapidly.

In a week she would have surgery.

I put my suitcase back down and waved everyone but the babies back to Boulder. I would stay until 10 days after the surgery, to offer emotional support, tend to her post-op care and do the cooking and cleaning.

She had been through breast cancer in ’90, so we took this seriously.

On the day of the operation, the waiting room was packed with family. My grampa stayed home with my kids.

About an hour and a half into it, the surgeon came in looking sorrowful. “We opened her up and found tumors all over the place. There’s a big one we hadn’t even known about, because it’s hiding behind the intestine.” Or some such.

“We can get some of them out, but some are inoperable, so there isn’t a lot of point. We’re aborting the mission and closing her up.”

He shook his head, making another go at his sorrowful face, and walked out.

It was quiet in the waiting room. Then my grama stood up. She was calm and dignified. She strode out of the room.

I peeked out the door’s window and saw her in the hall with her back to the wall. I thought about my own daughter and left her to her privacy.

After a long time, I went to check on her. She was gone.

 Then she came back in and sat next to me. She leaned in conspiratorially, topped it off with a knee pat and said, “Everything is going to be fine.”

Was she losing it? Nothing was fine.

She smiled and began talking with Uncle Monty about the price of housing in Whittier.

I said, “Nana, are you OK?”

She said, “I visualized the doctor walking in and saying, ‘Everything’s OK. There’s no cancer.’ Then I went to the chapel and prayed for it to be me instead.”

This seemed to be final. She made that nod you make when you just replaced the batteries in your flashlight and you’re ready to get on with using it.

Then the doctor flung the door open. He had put on his congratulatory face and was smiling at us each in turn. “Everything’s OK! There’s no cancer.”

Holy crap.

“We did a freeze section on one of the tumors. It was fibroid tissue.”

Um. Wasn’t that ruled out early?

“We can’t figure it. She hasn’t had a uterus or a period in 13 years. Fibroid tumors are an impossibility. But that’s what they are.”

Shortly after, Nana began chemotherapy for macroglobulanemia, which is a cancer in the blood and bones.

I believe this was a coincidence. Nevertheless, if anyone sees me go into surgery, please show my Nana where the hallway is.

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2 Responses to “A miracle?”

  1. gunky Says:

    how is nana now?!

  2. T. Says:

    She’s doing great. She believes in The Secret.

    https://storiesomine.wordpress.com/2009/01/17/the-secret/

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