I kiss my husband and wish him luck. I tell him I'm waiting for him but "please," possibly for the last time "tell me you love me - I need to hear you say my name - I need to be able to remember that voice" - just in case.
Six hours of waiting. Waiting for the receptionist to call my name. Waiting to hear what is happening. Six hours is nothing compared to some of my fellow "waiters." A son in critical condition from a car accident; a mom getting a hip replaced. Every person here has a story. Every one's face is creased with worry. We are all in this together, like victims of a disaster - thrown together through tragedy. Our stories are different but our fears and wishes are the same - death, disfigurement, disabilities, hopes, cures, futures.
Finally - they are finished. He's in recovery and awake. I put my head around the corner and am relieved to see he's sitting up, looking good. Then I see the white tube at the base of his throat. They did the tracheotomy. He can't speak. The PEG tube has been inserted.
I see his physician and ask the dreaded question...What did you find?
The tumor is the size of a man's fist. It will definitely require a complete laryngectomy. He's looking to schedule in the next day or two.