When the doctor told us my husband Brandon had a cancerous tumour, we decided to name it. Its name was Arnie, and he was a jerk.
We met Arnie on a Friday afternoon in the Emergency Room. Only hours before, Brandon had gone to his GP for a check-up due to a lingering cough.
We sat in a dank room with staff buzzing like a swarm of bees. They shaved patches off Brandon's chest, hooked him up to heart monitors, IV tubes and other contraptions I cannot name.
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We looked at one another and laughed out of nerves and confusion. We thought he must have pneumonia. He'd get a bag of antibiotics and we'd be on our way, back to our normal life.
After a while they rolled him out of the room, and I was left there alone. Staring at the dirty floor wondering where they took my husband.
A long list of worries bounced around my head rendering me useless. I couldn't even play a game on my phone, which would have been a welcome distraction.
Relief washed over me when he was finally rolled back into the room. Grabbing his hand, I looked up at the doctor hoping for a quick response. He avoided eye contact as he turned a monitor toward my husband and me.
We held hands as he pointed at a six inch mass in my husband's chest. I asked him, “What are the chances that it's cancer?” The doctor just stared at the floor in a silent way of affirming, yup it's cancer.
A few moments later, Brandon was brought up to the Oncology floor, and that is where we waited to learn exactly what we were dealing with.
No one tells you that this process takes over a week. We only knew it was cancer, not what kind of cancer. We also didn't know the prognosis; would Brandon live a long life or die tomorrow? That was a heavy load to carry for a week.