A Memory, My First Breath.

Posted: February 4, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Feb 2011 Superbowl

A Memory, My First Breath- February 4th 2011
I exited the elevator, and made a sharp left into a hallway and then an immediate sharp left again into a waiting room and rushed up, bags in tote, to sign in. I gave Omar’s name and his doctors name and two little old ladies with a smile and reassuring voice spoke calmly to me, as if they could see the whirlwind of panic storming above my head. They handed me a pager and told me when the surgery is over I would immediately be paged to come to the desk and the surgeon would speak to me. After i received my pager, I immediately turned around and left, dragging my baggage taking the stairs one level down.

I made the rounds of calls. Calling my step mother in law to be , I told them it’s happening. Omar is having his brain surgery. I was sternly told to eat and relax. Repeatedly. So i went into the cafeteria grabbed a pre-made sandwich and a the biggest cup for coffee they had. I ate without tasting. Taking a picture of my “meal” as proof and texted it to my step mom in law…more a sarcastic gesture I knew Omar would laugh and shake his head at my audacity.

After i double checked i texted and called everyone to keep them updated, i went to the closest restroom. Then i took the elevator one level up, back to the waiting room.

I sat in the waiting room and hunted down the seat next to an outlet and I plugged my phone in to charge. I started to look around and saw the free refreshments…blessedly free coffee. I wandered over and filled up the tiny coffee cup , wishing I would of kept my big one to refill. I did little more than just sit there and drink my coffee, cup after cup. Seriously those cups were so small.

It’s been about an hour and half and the too quiet waiting room with daytime TV not offering much of a distraction. So before, my mind started working, I grabbed my many bags and exited the waiting room. Seriously, I had alot of bags because I had to empty Omar’s hospital room in case he needed to be moved to a different room. The unspoken message, they had no idea if he would be coming back …at all.

Not knowing where to go, I dragged my bags just outside the waiting room to a bench and decided atleast I have the distraction of people moving about. And blessedly a phone charger was right there so i plugged my phone back in to continue charging. I didn’t , couldn’t, let myself think. I needed to be functional. I needed to keep the worry and stress away. If even a little bit slipped out, I would succumb to it.

Just as I was starting to feel the panic trickling in my views , my phone started to buzz.

Out of all the people to text me, it was an childhood friend. After i updated her about what was going on I received a text back simply asking” Is anyone with you?”. I’ve never felt more alone in my life. I responded telling her I am alone. She was away in school and she was dismayed to read I was by myself and apologized for that. But, her text, saved me from panic, a distraction. Sometimes you don’t need to physically be there , to actually be there for a person. I am forever grateful for her text.

After i concluded our texting I was up till 3 hours since Omar entered surgery.

The doctors told me it takes 4-8 hours depending on what they encounter during operation.

I opened my cell phone back up and called my bestie. I would be lost without her. We did what we do best, we talked. We talked and talked about nothing and anything. For over an hour. Then i seen wild crazy hair of a doctor in scrubs walking down the hallway.

Omar’s doctor.

I practically hung up on my friend and ambushed the doctor.

The doctor put his hands up in the universal “calm down, take it easy” gesture and said

“He’s okay.”

I breathed a breath so deep, it felt like I hadn’t breathed in the 4 and half hours I was waiting and I was breathing for the first time in my life.

It’s been two years since that day. The day Omar had his open brain surgery, a piece of skull cut and removed and the resection of a tumor the size of a tennis ball. The following year was full of treatment, chemo and radiation. This past year has been a struggle to regain the ability to do normal things, like walk to the store without feeling like you’re going to pass out.Or managing daily debilitating pain But, blessedly, slowly, very very slowly, he’s gaining his strength back. Everyday, I wake up gasping for breath until I roll over and see Omar and i feel my lungs expand and suck in air greedily.

Yesterday, we watched the super bowl with my family. But, two years ago, he watched the super bowl from his hospital chair , in and out of consciousness, as it was only two days post-surgery.

I’m thankful for every breath since then, and hopefully many more to come.

Related Articles:ย 
I wrote about my fiancee and his cancer, a retelling of him falling sick -up til surgery, in these following posts. It’s my goal to continue recanting the story, up to present day.ย  But, for now, here’s what I got.

When it rains, It pours ( Part 1)

My Little Old Polish Angel (Part 2)

I Could Almost Pretendย  He Was Sleeping and This Was All a Bad Dream ( Part 3)

Four Days After My Fiancee was Admitted He was Being Prepped For What Turned Out to Be Brain Surgery(Part 4)

A Loving Touch ( Part 5)

  1. sethsnap says:

    Wow. wonderfully written. I’m glad to hear he is continuing his bounce back. ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. Kozo says:

    Glad that someone was there with you, even if it was only through a text message. Superbowl this year must have been full of blessings compared to two years ago. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo


  3. This is beautifully written. So glad he is on the mend x


  4. diannegray says:

    I’m working though the same thing with my best friend who has had two brain tumour surgeries in the past 12 months. Every day we go walking and then I take her swimming every second day. It’s a long and ardouos road, but she’s getting there (I’ve even got her working on my wii Fit to get her balance back!). I’m so glad Omar has survived this and I’m sure every day you’re thankful to have him with you. This is an amazing story…


  5. Horus says:

    How wonderfully blessed both of you two are to have each other ! … and facing all of this not alone but with each other, firmly in a hugging union ! May god bless you two always !


  6. homeinawoods says:

    Waiting during my husband’s own cancer surgery (a different form) was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Thanks for sharing your experiences.


  7. Judy Martin says:

    I am so pleased that your husband is making a good recovery. That must have been such a traumatic time for you both,


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