I rarely get cancer flashbacks, but when I do they hit with a punch.
I had one today and it caught me completely off guard.
I took a friend to the hospital for an endoscopy. I told her I’d be sitting in the waiting room until she recovered from the test and the anesthetic and then I’d drive her back to her home. Easy…no problem.
The hospital was the same place Leroy had gone for his “routine” colonoscopy than turned out to be NOT so routine. That really didn’t cause a problem. I’ve been there many times since visiting friends who were short term patients. But when we were directed down the hall and took the first left into THAT waiting room, you could have knocked me down with a feather. It was in THAT waiting room where I sat until a nurse called my name that late afternoon. When our eyes connected, and I saw ‘THAT LOOK’ I knew my world had changed. I knew our world had changed. We had entered cancer world.
I don’t think my friend noticed the beads of sweat on my forehead. I don’t think she noticed that I steered her away from THAT chair and toward a group of chairs across the room, while we waited for her name to be called. And when she went in for her test, I quickly got up and left the area. Call it bad karma, call it what you will, I couldn’t wait for those automatic doors to spring open allowing me an escape route. An escape from the memories of Day One/Living in Cancer World.
I walked the neighborhood and watched the clock. I’d spend as little time as possible, back in that room, sitting in those chairs.
Flashbacks aren’t fun.