Being the Supporter, Instead of the Supported

Two weeks ago, one of my coworkers came to me after a doctor's appointment to ask me what a PET scan was like.  Apparently his doc had ordered one up for him because of a lingering "spot" on his lung.  It was last Friday... right before the long weekend.  I urged him to CALL the his doctor Friday afternoon, so that he would not have to wait those three long days to get his results.  But he decided he'd rather wait and not spoil his weekend in case the news was bad.  Tuesday, he called.  And the stupid doctor was not in.  More waiting...

I think I was more nervous than he was.  It was like re-living my own PET scan waits.

Yesterday, he was out on a job in the morning.  When he came back into the gallery, he came over to me.  And he looked... grim.  The doctor had called.  And the news - not good.  I think that, much in the way that I sort of fuzzed out when my own doctors were telling me details about my cancer, my treatment, etc., my work pal did, too.  He could not remember exactly what the his doc had said.  "Meta-something? Metal-ine?" He could not remember the word.  I silently hoped it was not "metastases" and listened as he went on.

He said the doctor told him someone would call him in the next few days to schedule a biopsy.  Well, when that someone called almost immediately, that's when he got nervous.  As he was telling me this, his eyes got a little watery.  I could tell.  He was scared.  And it broke my heart.

He went on to explain that the biopsy procedure would be an outpatient thing.  They go in through his nose and grab whatever they need from inside his lung.  (This made me shudder more than the idea of cancer - surgery - even something like this - terrifies me.)  They told him he'd need someone to drive him.  Knowing he has no family here, and without giving it even a moment of thought, I told him that someone would be me.

Yeah, I'll miss probably an entire day of work, right at the tail end of the busiest several weeks I've ever had there.  Yeah, I'll end up using one of my last vacation days of the year.  But I didn't even consider any of these things as mattering in the slightest.  Fuck.  I'd have done it if I had NO vacation days left and 100 pieces due that day.  Some things are just more important.

One of those things?  Support.  I had a WORLD of support throughout my entire ordeal.  I'm sure part of that is my age.  When someone MY age has cancer, it is more shocking to people.  When an older dude might have it... I don't want to say it's more expected, but it somehow comes as LESS of a shock to people. But regardless of his age, I want him to feel supported.  And I made the decision then and there to help however I could.

I hugged him several times yesterday.  And I gave him one of my posi+ivi+y bracelets and told him that no matter what happens, that is the most important thing he can do.  Stay positive.  Believe he will be ok.

And I will hang out over here in Survivorland and wait for him.  Poor guy.  No one should have to go through this shit alone.

Fuck cancer.

Keep him in your thoughts and prayers.  Tom.  His name is Tom.
Xxo, Phoebe


Mum said…
Please tell Tom that Mum is on his team ... under the wings of the Angel Phoebe! Thanks for passing on the care and love you received!
M said…
Oh, no! When I saw him on Wednesday I could tell something was wrong but I forgot to ask you about it. Ugh. Ugh. So sweet of you to be his ride. :) Hugs for Tom.
r'n'r-RN said…
we are sending positivity. thank you for being there for him. there is nothing more lonely than facing illness alone.

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