Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Time Machine

If I thought it were plausible and probable, I'd build a time machine. Not to go back in time, but rather forward. I'd like to flash forward to the week after surgery when we will receive the pathology report and then depending on what it reveals, I'd flash forward again either to the end of Patrick's surgical recovery or (heaven forbid) the end of radiation and chemotherapy.

My time machine would allow me to pass through some difficult moments. Moments that I am trying to mentally prepare myself for. Moments like watching Patrick being wheeled away as he is taken to the operating room. Moments, or rather hours, when I will be waiting in the waiting room for updates or news that the surgery has been complete and everything went well. I would like to fly through the moment when I will walk into the intensive care unit and see him for the first time post operation when he will be engulfed in tubes and wires. A moment when I will see his battle wounds for the first time, I could do without. I would take joy in passing the moments where I will be waiting for him to wake up. If I had a time machine, we wouldn't have these moments. We'd be at the end of this journey looking back and relishing in how strong Patrick was and how amazing our support system is.

If I had a time machine, I'd like to pass the moments when I'll see him laying in the hospital bed or on our couch in pain. I'd pass through the moments of never-ending uncertainty, those in which Patrick will be questioning every bump, discoloration, and swollen node. I'd pass through the moments of awkwardness when people notice there is hair growing on his tongue due to the skin graft taken from his arm, because it will most likely happen. If I only had a time machine.

My time machine would let me stop to see the great moments over the next few months that we don't want to miss though. Once we open our eyes for a quick peek it would then start again so that we can pass the difficult ones. We would stop for the time when our youngest, nearly a six month old babe, decides she'd like to roll over. We'd stop when our oldest sees fit to finally go poop in the potty one hundred percent of the time. A milestone worth celebrating. We'd stop when our babe is going to taste a flavorful pureed glob of goodness so we could watch her smear it all over her face. We'd stop to watch our oldest learn and master a few more letters of the alphabet and take pride in her ever-growing desire to learn. For those moments, I'd ream on the brake lever in the time machine.

I've never been one to have an overactive imagination. Truly, I've never been one to have an imagination, period. I had a hard time playing with Troll dolls and My Little Ponies in the schoolyard at recess and thinking it was fun. But, today, I think I will light the pilot light that feeds the fire to my imagination because I'm really thinking a time machine would serve me well.

Until this time machine builds itself, because let's face it, I'm no engineer, I'll be waiting for Dr. D.'s office to call and confirm the tentative surgery date. A time machine would really improve this journey.


  1. I know what you mean. I recently had a minor surgery and this am said, last week at this time we were miserable, amazing what in my situation a weeks time can do. I hope that you are able to zip through this trying time asap. Many speedy well wishes, speedy thoughts and prayer. :) Be strong.

  2. I know it's NOT the same...but my mom was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma on her cheek. She had it removed and now, a year later she is completely clear of the carcinoma. I hope this can help shine some positive light and encouragement on your situation.
    I can't imagine going through this with my husband. A time machine would be a wonderful gadget to have for moments like this. BUT these tough moments make the good ones that much sweeter. You and your husband are in my prayers

  3. You are so brave. I'm afraid I'm one who would rather go in the past and find the good times again than face what's ahead (whether you're skipping the worst bits or not). I was thinking about you today, after finding your blog yesterday my religion professor was talking about the word fearless. It just reminded me of what I wish life could be like. I'll be thinking of you this week. I'm totally with you on the time machine. If you figure it out, be sure to let us know.

  4. Oh man, I coulda used one of those!

    I think you'll be surprised, though, how quickly this process goes. I hope so anyway. I can hardly believe that I first found out seven months ago...

    Seems like time stood still for a while after hearing the news and then bam- done with surgery. More time standing still and then bam- done with treatments. Some times move faster than others, but it's been pretty quick for me and I hope the same for Patrick.

    Keep writing and stay strong!


  5. Hi, Laurel,
    It's been a while since I've checked your blog, but Sarah shared your situation with me, and I just read all your posts about Patrick. I am so sorry to hear about what you guys are going through. Mark and I will be praying for Patrick, that the surgery will be flawless, and his recovery quick and complete. Praying for an extra measure of peace and strength for your sweet family. Sending my love your way! ~ Jo Dorr