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Carol Perkins: Waiting with a lifelong friend

'. . . my lifelong friend is now in ICU and won't remember those twelve hours. She will be in the hospital for about eight days, and then in about eight weeks she will begin chemo again. For all those who have been in the same situation, you will identify with the waiting and the mental turmoil of not knowing. For those who haven't, I pray your day never comes.' CAROL.
Next earlier Carol Perkins column: Carol Perkins: The summer of 2016 for Eme & Laura

By Carol Perkins

Waiting. Two hours, four hours, six hours, eight hours, ten hours...waiting, passing the time, looking at pictures in old magazines, reading newspapers worn from already being read, playing Angry Birds on my IPAD. Waiting with dozens of others at the UK Medical Center.


Reports coming every two hours via a text system straight from the operating room. "Patient is doing well" or "Everything fine." The surgery might last eight hours or it might last twelve. The family was hoping for eight, but when the tenth hour came, her brother paced the waiting area. The minister asked to have prayer. We gathered in a circle and prayed for successful results and quick healing. As we broke hands, a lady with her daughter and two grandsons asked us if we would pray for another daughter and her husband who were just admitted with a pregnancy complication. "The baby is only 32 weeks old. We fear it will be born early and we need prayers." We held hands with these strangers and prayed for the birth of a healthy child and for the mother and father. In sickness, there are no strangers.

After three months of chemo, she was ready to have the tumor removed from a duct in her pancreas. All pre-op scans were good, so now the team of doctors prepared to save her life. We friends came to support the supporters; to help pass the long hours with whatever conversation we could offer as a deviation-a distraction.

As the twelfth hour approached, we had run out of conversation. We had worn out chairs, lay on sofas, and eaten in the cafeteria until it closed. Finally, after the twelfth hour, the last text came. The doctor was ready to meet with the family. As they scurried off to the consultation room, the rest of us waited.

"The doctor said everything went really well. They sent off lymph nodes for a pathology report and the results should be back in a week, but everything looked good to them," the family reported what the doctor had said. Now the waiting begins again. Waiting a week can feel like waiting a lifetime.

Judy Wallace Irvin, my lifelong friend, is now in ICU and won't remember those twelve hours. She will be in the hospital for about eight days, and then in about eight weeks she will begin chemo again. For all those who have been in the same situation, you will identify with the waiting and the mental turmoil of not knowing. For those who haven't, I pray your day never comes.

(My new book, A Girl Named Connie, is available at Blossoms Florist and Boutique Unique, 507 Happy Valley Road, Glasgow, KY 42141, Phone 270-629-3597; the Edmonton/Metcalfe Chamber of Commerce, 109 E Stockton Street, Edmonton, KY, Phone 270-432-3222; and the Lighthouse Restaurant, 1500 Sulphur Well/Knob Lick Road, Sulphur Well Historic District, KY 42129. Phone 270-629-3597. And Also on Amazon.com) Carol Perkins, PO Box 134, Edmonton, KY 42129. Phone 670-432-5756


This story was posted on 2016-08-31 09:10:08
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