Lynna Clark: Summer’s Over
For us it was officially the last day of summer. David’s job allows him to have the month of July off and of course the time had flown. Our insurance dictated that his bloodwork be done precisely on Monday, July 31, 2017. His appetite dictated the appointment take place as soon as the office opened so he could rush home and eat; and more importantly have his coffee. All went well and the day was shaping up nicely. I too had a doctor’s appointment to schedule the removal of my port: that surgically implanted device where I received chemo over the last year. Some people leave it in in case the cancer returns. Instead, I wanted it out. To me it’s like telling cancer, “Uh no. You may not have access to my space anymore.”
We sat at the table eating a leisurely breakfast when David casually asked if I was looking at the Cheerwine clock. Yep. Sure enough I was gauging the amount of time I had left to get ready by a clock that is approximately thirteen minutes slow. Who would keep a clock like that? I jumped up, threw on my go to the doctor clothes, penciled in some eyebrows, gathered my calendar, Kindle, and medications. Down the interstate we flew from Salisbury to Concord without a hitch. After waiting forty-five minutes for a three minute consultation, I wondered why we had hurried like bats out of… the basement.
It seems the surgeon had a cancellation and therefore could do my out-patient surgery on Wednesday, only two days hence. Jackpot! We even splurged on apple fritters at the new doughnut shop, then swung by the produce corner for three bales of pine needles. Oh what a happy day!
All the joyful activities of the morning had worn me out, so I settled into the couch with a warm fritter and a hot cup of Earl Grey. David had his book and all was right with the world until the phone rang. It seemed that if I were to have surgery on Wednesday, I must have an EKG prior. She offered, “Can you come now? We don’t close til six-thirty.” I glanced at the clock, added thirteen minutes and decided we could do it.
Again I jumped into my go to the doctor clothes and out the door we flew. Suddenly the interstate came to a standstill. We had already passed the point of no return… that place where there are no exits until one reaches the magical ramp called Lane Street. As far as we could see, no one was moving. At least with all the construction there were barriers on each side so that no one could go zipping down the shoulders past everyone else as if they were more important. Not that that sort of behavior makes me think murderous thoughts in my otherwise pure heart.
We sat there so long that daddies began taking their children out of their vehicles and stepping over silver guardrails into the woods for potty breaks. I gazed across the scrub brush and undergrowth calculating the height verses width plus the viewing angles of nearby truckers. The sixteen ounces of hot tea consumed earlier reminded me that desperate times call for desperate measures. Just as I was about to hop a guard rail the ocean of traffic opened before us like the Red Sea. We were actually moving. I checked the time.
Quickly we made our way to a place we’d never been. David pulled up to a door. I ran inside trying not to think of my bladder. A kind lady directed me to another building with the hope that we might still make it. I checked the clock in the truck.
Again David pulled right up to the door. I lept from the truck and bolted inside. Down the hall I ran like a… gazelle.
The lab door was locked.
I spotted a restroom. From the depths of my soul I prayed.
Dear Jesus if You love me at all, please don’t let it be locked.
The door swung wide and I relieved myself of all my… fears. A quick hand wash and a deep sigh later I stepped into the hall where David stood wondering.
“Closed?” he asked.
“Yep,” I sighed. “But the bathroom was open!”
He looked at me as if impressed with my weird happiness. Apparently he had no idea of the struggle inside my… soul. Hand in hand we walked back through the empty parking lot to the truck.
“Let’s go out to eat,” he suggested. “I have a gift card.”
“How was your food?” the cashier asked with a smile. David quietly related to her that it was pretty bad, and that his lovely wife had actually sent hers back and requested something else which turned out to be worse.
“Would you like to speak to a manager?” She tried to be helpful.
David shook his head. “No thanks. I think I just want to be done with the day.”
We scooted up I-85 without a hitch. The sun slipped down making the sky golden as we pulled in the drive. Like kids who spot those dreaded back to school sales we realized.
Summer is over.
But life has just begun in the Clark house.
I’m cancer free!
Lynna Clark lives in Salisbury. Read more at Lynna’s Wonderful Life at wordpress.com