“Will he heal? What’s the prognosis?” Family and friends asked that question often when Gary received a diagnosis Pseudomyxoma Peritonei (PMP) in December 2002. I felt exhausted trying to explain what I did not know. Once I shared my meager knowledge with a friend, she proceeded like the old gossip game. By the time she’d told three people what I hadn’t said, her statements gathered momentum and when someone repeated back to me what she told them, I didn’t recognize my friends question or my answer.
Now I’m the subject of the questions. What’s next? What did the doctor say? How much tissue was removed? Is it malignant? When will you return to work? What about your trip to Oregon? Then comes the, “You poor dear, whatever will you do?”
So what do I know? The surgeon’s office called last evening and said to call today at 11. I just called, no report yet. The receptionist is to call me later this afternoon. She also scheduled me to see the doctor tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.
Oh and how do I handle all the questions? Same as I did when husband was sick, write answers. If my answers don’t make sense, oh well.
Years ago my friend Bobbie gave me an adorable ceramic donkey—it still sits in my living room, she also told me the donkey’s story:
There once were two men and a donkey headed to market. The men loaded their backpacks and started to town one on each side of the donkey. A man met them on the way and said, “That looks pretty silly to me, you have a good animal. Why not ride?”One man climbed on the donkeys back. They walked further and met another man who shook his head and muttered, “Perfectly good animal and you are walking?”The men looked at each other and both climbed on the back of the donkey. They walked further and met a woman who glared at the men. “You two ought to be ashamed of yourselves. Two of you on that humble animal. You’ll kill your beast.”
Both men slid off the donkey in embarrassment.
The moral of the story: No matter what your choice, you cannot please all the people all the time. With that I think I’ll rip the bandages off and take a shower. Think I’ll color my hair, too. Looking young will give my moral a boost.