Sunday was another beautiful day for a road trip. I sat comfortably behind the wheel of Margaret’s little auto Corolla as we were preparing to leave, my tight grip and sweaty palms giving away my attempt to hide anxiousness at driving in the city. I know it sounds like a crazy thing to be worried about when you think about the reason behind the trip…but I wanted us to get there safely.
As we set off there wasn’t a lot of conversation about where or why we were going to Sydney. Without saying so to each other, Bren and I aren’t focusing on “what if’s” and “what it could be’s,” he’s strong, fit and determined… that’s our focus.
Monday Morning was an early 6:30 am start. We got Bren settled into the PTU at RPA , and while I popped over to the Lifehouse to use the restroom and grab Margaret and I a cuppa, Margaret parked the car. The lady at the front desk at LH is a kind, cheerful, caring woman. We have spoken several times briefly over the last week and a bit. She makes you feel like she knows you and is there for you, which is comforting in a situation that’s overwhelming, and where you feel like you haven’t got a handle on things yet.
Later in the day, it must have been toward the end of her shift, as I was leaving the café, again, I said to her, “it’s been a long day for you; you’ve been here since 6:30am”. She smiled back at me and said “So have you, why are you here?” I told her, and she nodded knowingly offered a few kind words and then said, “you take care.” Those little things mean a lot.
I stayed with Bren for most of the day, [before and after his biopsy] and except for that couple of hours, when Margaret slipped into the City centre to have lunch with Brendan’s sister, so did she. By about 4:00 pm he was ready for some quiet time. Sore, tired and still a bit out of it from the anaesthetic — I think he was probably sick of being mothered by his mother and his wife, so we left him in peace and went and had an early dinner on King St, before heading back to our accommodation.
The next morning we picked Bren up bright and early, he was still very sore, but at least now he has a crutch to take a little of the pressure off his leg when he has to walk a distance. We stopped at Macca’s near the hospital to have some breakfast and to let the peak hour traffic pass, and that was when he offered a few quiet and calmly spoken words to gently let me know that things would get worse before they got better.
I had just come back from the loo, when Bren looked at me and said “the doctor said at rounds last night that it looks like it’s nasty.” I felt my heart stop, and then there was nothing, just numbness. I looked at his Mum and her face turned pale as she fought back tears. Bren and I just rested our heads on each others, and we all had a little cry. Then we pulled ourselves together, took a breath and that was it. Done! We knew! He asked if I was Ok, I said I was, that we all would be and then he asked his Mum and she said yes. We finished our breakfast in a kind of hazy quietness. It wasn’t a momentous or dramatic moment — more a simple sharing of facts and an acknowledgment that we all understood what was happening. Simple! Now we can move forward and do what needs to be done.
A few times that day, on the trip home, either Margaret or I fussed and tried to help Bren when help wasn’t needed and he ended up saying “I’m bent, not broken” …with his cheeky smile, his way of saying “relax I’m Ok — back off a little!”
And he is and will continue to be OK, as we take this thing in our stride, day by day, doing what we can to get him better!
Life is good and hope is limitless.
NB: this is an archived post written in 2014 on a previous blogging format