This morning, we went to see the surgeon, hoping for good news. I wanted him to say the cancer was gone, my husband was going to be okay and the worst was over. I wanted that more than anything.
I held my husband's hand as his surgeon removed the staples along his incision. It was a foot long, so it took a couple minutes. It stung a bit, but it was worth it because at the end of it all, we heard the words we were longing to hear:
(There are no more beautiful words in the English language.)
He will have to have a blood test and a special scan in 6 months to make sure he's still cancer free. He'll be followed closely for the rest of his life. We can live with this-in fact I find this comforting because kidney cancer has no symptoms and usually by the time they discover it, it's already too late. We came very close to not having a happy ending, so vigilance is good.
When we walked out of the surgeon's office, my husband said he wanted to go out for lunch at Red Robin. I said okay-he deserved to celebrate. He'd earned it.
When we sat down in the restaurant, our server, Ashley came to say hello and asked us how we were. He told her we were celebrating his being cancer free and explained a bit about what he'd been through. She took our order. A few minutes later, she returned with Marlaina, the manager. Marlaina told us she'd lost her step dad to cancer and she was very happy to hear our news and that lunch was on the house. We were stunned. I immediately got teary. We've been through so much in the last 2 1/2 months and it was such a sweet, unexpected kindness from a stranger. It meant more to us than she could ever know.
Bad things happen, it's part of life but in the midst of that, very good things happen too. It reminded me of this Native American prayer:
Give thanks for unknown blessing, already on their way.
We are so very grateful.