Recently, we had a bit of a cancer scare at home. And by “a bit of” I mean full blown panic. A large portion of my family has been lost to cancer of one kind or another so I can be a bit paranoid at the slightest change in a mole or freckle much less the dreaded word tumour.
My father passed away from a melanoma on his cheek, a gruelling and terrible thing to witness, so when my husband had a bump in his nose checked out and the doctor as much as blurted “Cancer!” I went into full meltdown mode…
Upon recovery, we made plans to see a specialist and have the offending “bump” removed. It turned out to be a full blown surgery that had Brian in the hospital all day and rather groggy that night. Thankfully, the pressure that had preceded the operation has eased instantly, leaving him feeling a bit better.
From there, it was simply the waiting game. Wait for pathology to check it out, wait for another appointment with the specialist. Wait, wait, wait…
I hate waiting in the queue at the bank, this nearly did me in!
Finally, we managed an appointment after the results had come in. The verdict was…non-cancerous tumour.
There is, however a 30% - 40% chance of it growing back and there is no guarentee that it won’t be cancerous next time, so Brian is meant to go back to the doctor shortly for a post op exam and then every 3 - 6 months for follow-ups to make sure there is no re-growth.
It’s certainly not something I’d ever wanted to have to go through with my husband, and I think I uderstand a little more how my mother felt when my dad went in to have a “little bump” checked.
Somehow, knowing that there is always going to be the possibility of disaster is more real now. You don’t think about getting hit by a bus everyday of your life, but a near-miss will make you look both ways…twice.
Our last day was not only hectic but very sad for both of us so I didn’t take notes on what happened so I’ll have to go from memory.
We got ready that morning pretty quickly and took our luggage down the the office where the Ryokan was kind enough to store it for us until we had to leave for the airport.
We felt a bit frantic as we knew this was our last chance to see anything we had missed. We headed out to Asakusa first. Sandy had decided at last minute that she wanted to buy yukatas for a few of her friends and Asakusa was where we had found the best ones for the best price. We walked around for most of the morning just taking it all in and feeling the impending moment when we would have to say goodbye. Around 2, we collected our bags from the Ryokan and headed towards the airport. It takes about an hour and a half to get there so when we arrived I stowed my bags for a few hours and went to check Sandy in. We wandered through the mall in the airport, stopping to pick up some sleeping tablets and have a late lunch. We were both pretty emotional and didn’t talk too much for fear of crying. That in itself is astounding! If you know me or Sandy personally, then you know that quiet is not a word used to describe either of us very often.
Finally it was time for Sandy to go through security. We hugged…a lot, and cried…a lot. It’s not easy saying goodbye to your best friend for an indeterminate amount of time. It feels like goodbye forever. We made promises to do it all again, with our Mother next time… maybe in Rome because that’s where Mum would like to go.
Then she went through security and was out of sight.
I bawled like a baby and wandered off to get my bags and go to my terminal. I think I must’ve looked a sight because everyone was so kind to me (helping me on and off the bus with my bags) though, to be honest, everyone in Japan had been very kind at any time. I truly loved the politeness and propriety of the people there and learned to say “Arigato gozaimas” (Thank you very much) an awful lot.
11 hours later and I was home again. Connor met me at the airport while Brian avoided paying for airport parking (such a rip-off!) and we headed home.
As much as it was hard to leave, it was good to be home!