Friday, October 19, 2012

An overdue visit

Dr. Gollard and the wonderful people at Cancer & Blood Specialists of Nevada were a major part of our lives from May 2006 to September 2010. During the last 2 years, we were there every week for Vern's chemo treatments. I wanted to stop by after Vern died ... to thank them for their care, their compassion, for what they do every single day for those of us who walk the cancer journey as either a patient or a caregiver. But I just could not do it.  I drove by several times. I even drove into the parking lot. But fear kept me from getting out of the car. Could I enter those doors without Vern and not fall apart? What if no one there even remembered me? I just was not strong enough to take that chance.

A couple of weeks ago a dear friend asked me if I could take her to her chemo appointment today. She sees Dr. Gollard and goes to the same office we did. I never hesitated ... of course I would do this. I can do this. But I'll admit that I've been doing a lot of talking to myself about it. It's ok if they don't remember me ... how could they with the hundreds and hundreds of patients they see?  And it's been two years since I was there. So I'll be ok. And then when I learned they had moved to a new location, I thanked God for that blessing. I won't be walking through that same door. I won't be sitting in that same waiting room. I won't have to see that same chemo room. 

So I'm heading out now to pick up my friend.  It's time to put this fear to rest.
- - - - - - -
I did it!  ... and it was good. I enjoyed seeing familiar faces - and I enjoyed spending a few hours with my friend. I am so very grateful they moved into their new offices this week. There were no memories for me in this new office. No flashbacks. No visions of Vern in there. And the nurses did remember me. Vern's favorites, Radka & Janet, are still the Friday chemo nurses. Their hugs felt so good. And I do believe some much-needed closure took place in there today.


Susie Hemingway said...

Well done lovely lady - much braver than me! - I have been to Lincoln once with a friend but not near the location I spent so much time with Hamada at - I know this hospital like the 'back of my hand' - going there still made me weak at the knees. You have done so very well, all continuing best wishes dear Diane.xoxo

Teri said...

Difficult - but a good step forward. It's good for you that they moved locations, and helping a friend is a good motivation to help yourself.

Sarah said...

Good for you! Another step forward. You are such an inspiration to those of us who will, one day, have to follow in your footsteps.

Kerrie said...

I do so know what you mean!! I have a really hard time doing anything or anywhere that I walked the walk with Bill. I don't want to let the hurt in again. I still have moments that make my heart beat so strongly that adrenalin runs down my arms like when you are afraid of something! And I know that I will always feel this way at times, like you, no matter how much time has passed. Because we loved so much we feel the greater loss. I applaud you sweet friend. luv n hugs,Kerrie

Anonymous said...

dear diane,

i can hear how pleased and relieved you are that you were able to be a lovely support to your friend AND triumped over any fear or dread. in the grand scheme of things, it sounds like this was a meant-to-be challenge that ended up being so positive and reaffirming of just how far you have come in your journey. thank you for sharing such a meaningful milestone.

warm hugs to you dear diane,

karen, TC

AuBien said...

I am so proud of your bravery and of your love for your friend. I am so happy the environment was different so that you could take things in -- and let some things go without getting overwhelmed. Much love...

Julie O'Brien said...

Dianne, I really could learn a lot from you. Ted was mostly seen by doctors in St. Louis, so it's been a bit easier for me to avoid going there. Even driving by the massive hospital complex has been terribly difficult. I went to the hospital where he was treated in Indy to see a friend after an accident, and I had not mentally prepared myself for how tough that would be. It turned out they had my friend in the ICU for Cardiology because of some concerns about his heart after the accident. Ted had been on that floor several times, and it was so hard to try to be a comfort to my friends while living a private nightmare in my mind. I'd love to take Ted's transplant doctors out for a beer sometime. It seems like that would be a good way to thank them. It was 6 years ago in November since the transplant, and I've never been able to get myself to thank all of the wonderful staff we worked with.

So many steps in our journeys. Each one moves us just a bit closer to healing.

Hugs to you! I hope you were able to get your tree up. I can't wait to see it. :)