The Cafeteria

I sat in a hospital cafeteria today while the nurses prepped my husband for his seemingly hundredth upper endoscopy.  This has become a routine that is just as normal for us as a visit to the dentist.  Gastric MALT Lymphoma nearly killed my husband in 2006 when cancer had eaten through the walls of his stomach causing internal bleeding that drained 90% of his blood, yes, you read that correctly.  His gastroenterologist ran out of the room yelling out the figures to me in a panic along with how much blood they gave my husband.  Twice my husband nearly died from internal bleeding before they discovered it was cancer and not a lesion on his stomach as they first believed. Nothing prepares you for your husband to go into seizures from blood loss and teams of doctors being called in the middle of the night while rushing him into ICU. I joked with my husband that the bad news was that they gave him so much blood that he probably wasn’t Filipino anymore, I was pretty certain that he was now a white guy.  ; )

As I sat in the cafeteria I noticed an elderly gentleman slowly make his way to a table.  I also took note that he had made some wonderful food choices with the exception of the maple bar that he seemingly snuck onto his tray.  I say “snuck” because he certainly looked like he was trying to inhale the maple bar before his wife headed his way.  I quietly watched their interaction almost embarrassed that I was intruding on their lives from a distance.  As his wife walked toward him, without skipping a beat, he reached over to the chair and he pulled it out for her to sit, no words were spoken between them.  As I ate my vegetable omelet and my yogurt with fruit, I smiled to myself that I had witnessed him eating the maple bar like a young boy trying to eat the cookie before mom catches him; it was going to remain our secret.

If the maple bar story didn’t top my day…

While waiting for my husband to come out of anesthesia Joan Jet’s I love Rock and Roll began to play at amazing levels in the Procedure Room.  I overheard one of the patients inquire, “What is that music?!”  The nurse replied, “The doctor likes to listen to music when he is doing procedures.”  The same French doctor that saved hubby’s life has been following him for 5 years, I wasn’t aware that he was such a Joan Jett fan.  Excellent moment!  I love it when people go out of the norm!  : )

The doc came out with a big smile, shook our hands and said, “Congratulations, everything looks great!  There are no visible signs of cancer but I went ahead and took a biopsy and will send it on to your oncologist, your stomach does look a little irritated so keep taking your Prevacid. Oh and by the way, there is nothing I can do to change him, married people add an additional 7 years to their lives.”  Doc has a sense of humor. “Yes doc, but that is because someone is in the house to call the ambulance when you keel over!’  I have a sense of humor, too.  ; )




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