Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Something Kind of Wonderful

And, I chided my mother as we pulled into the valet, you are to be firm in denying the spinal tap. She nodded, but I wasn’t confident in her persuasion to defy her doctor’s orders. The hospital valet porter took my keys and smiled sympathetically. He wasn’t meant to hear me—at a precious moment of vulnerability—so he put his head down and pretended he hadn’t.

We waited in the lobby and compared notes. Since my mother’s last visit to her neuro-oncologists, she had consulted to other specialists in hopes of rectifying her ailing health. Sitting in the posh lobby, complete with its indoor fountains and sculptures, we were completely unaware that all her doctors decided to have a phone conference a few days prior.

Good to see you again, Dr. Hamid said as he entered the patient room we were waiting in. He hugged my mother and she glowed with all the attention. She denies it, but I think she wishes one of her children will end up like Dr. Hamid: young, handsome, brilliant. He’s lethal competition for painfully normal species like myself.

Dr. Finlay followed Dr. Hamid into the room and hugged her as well. She’s been a patient at Norris Hospital for so long, she’s like family. Dr. Finlay spoke at his usual rapid pace and his British accent caused me to stare at his lips for clarification. Heh awr ew tuh-dae, he asks. Accustomed to his pronunciation, she responded she hoped for good news. She then blurted: I don’t want a spinal tap unless it’s a 100% necessary.

If I had pom-poms I would have shaken them with fury. I almost couldn’t believe she said it. And with conviction. I often joke with my mom that I have to teach her how to be strong-willed and never accept no as an answer, so I was shocked last Monday when she coiled her inner-Jasmine and let the doctors have a piece of her mind.

The doctors spoke back and forth to each other in nine-syllable words and I nodded as if I had sat next to them in medical school and understood it all. Then they said something that sounded like it was carried on Angel Gabriel’s back from Heaven: Millie, we don’t think you have brain cancer again. We believe you have a severe case of polychondritis, a disease that affects only four out of a million people.

I thought I heard angels singing somewhere in the background.

The doctors went onto explain the various treatments she will undergo and the long road to recovery, but much like a Roman candle, everything pales in comparison to cancer. Sure, she will have to take steroids and low-dose chemotherapy, but we were rejoicing that it wouldn’t resemble her bout with cancer.

This week has been gloriously wonderful thus far and I thank God profusely.


Blogger TravelChick said...

We are rejoicing with you Jasmine! Praise God!! Thanks for sharing something so personal in such a public arena...

9:11 PM  
Blogger Holritz Photography said...

Good news!!! Very excited...

And I would love to photograph your wee ones someday... although I think you are darn capable of doing it yourself!


7:06 AM  
Blogger Frank DiMeo said...

Yeah Jas! That is wonderful news! I am so happy for you, your mom, and your family.

I love your descriptions too. It is so funny how we learn to understand an accent like that. I have a couple friends that talk like that and sometimes people can’t believe I understood a word they said.

Lots of love, prayers, and best wishes.

11:34 PM  

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