Saturday, January 08, 2011

The Whole Pie

For the last two weeks I have had pain in my shoulder, back and left rib cage. It came on slowly and at first I attributed it to many things. The one thing I refused to think was heart attack.

So of course I kept thinking it.

When the pain only got worse this week I put on my big girl panties and made a doctor's appointment. I hate going to the doctor. And I tried not to think heart attack.

So every moment I thought my heart was going to give out. Not a cool week for me to be living alone.

I admit I am a worst case scenario gal at my best. Constantly hoping this wasn't a heart attack only made it worse.

All day long I half thought my doctor visit would end with open heart surgery. Did I mention I go to bad places when I worry?

I talked with many people who have felt what I am feeling. No one was diagnosed with a heart attack so I began to calm down a bit.

My doctor's visit went fine. I have chest inflammation, and my doctor is having me tested for arthritis and Lupus. I absolutely do not want either of those things, but my visit didn't end with surgery so I am happy.

As I was in line waiting for my meds at the pharmacy I began to talk to the lady ahead of me. We were both frustrated by the long line and lack of pharmacists. She was eager to get her meds. "Me too." I said with a smile. And then I told her my diagnosis.

Then she told me she was picking up meds for her husband. He was too sick to wait in the line. In a smaller voice she said, "It's cancer."

And once again I realized that I was fortunate.

I asked what kind and she said melanoma that spread to his lungs and his brain. He has already lived 5 weeks over the doctor's estimate, but the pressure in his brain is getting worse. She is picking up his last round of pain meds. She got teary.

And I tried not to cry too. Damn being a social crier.

I thought of life being a series of blessings and curses. How blessed was he to live as long as he has, but there is pain in knowing that his time will never feel long enough.

And then she talked about the meds that she was picking up for him. One was a steroid that was going to relieve all the pain in his head. He was concerned about taking steroids and told his doctor.

To which his wife replied, "Now's the time that you get to eat the whole pie Larry if you want to." We both chuckled about a dying man being worried about steroids.

My pain is a little better now that I have meds, but I can't get Larry and his wife out of my mind.

My wish is that his last days are spent surrounded by all that he loves. May she have the strength and grace to help him through. I hope they both eat pie.

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