I was dozing on a sofa in the waiting area when Laura woke me up to say I was being paged. When I saw it wasn't a phone call but our surgeon Dr. Shen, I knew things hadn't gone as we had hoped. There was no magical slime removal that took 12 hours and ended with Rich being cured. Dr. Shen went over the details of how much tumor he could remove and how much he had to leave behind. He discussed how my husband will have a tube running from his small bowels to the outside of his stomach along with several drainage tubes and staples. He talked about the possibility of sending us home on intravenous nutrition if he was still not able to eat. It was all a little overwhelming.
Once he left, I started to cry and Laura came over to hold me. Laura is well endowed and I was able to just bury my face into her right boob and sob. That was her entire job today and she was kicking ass at it.
Suddenly there was this old man standing over us, his arms embraced around our Vishnu tangle of arms and legs on the sofa. He was inches away from my head and cooed, "I'm praying for you, girls. It looks like you got some bad news."
I didn't get a good look at him, preferring to keep my gaze into Laura's right armpit and contain my snot to her pullover. Laura said "thank you" in a way that actually said "leave us alone." Her body language with me was very loving but her tone would have withered a tree. And yet he stayed. Laura followed up with a simple, "We're covered," pointing to the cross around her neck (which I was ignoring in favor of the comfort of her 36FFFs). And still he stood there, smiling and murmuring creepily.
Laura opted for distraction, like throwing a tennis ball for a dog. "We could use some tissues." He nodded and just made that "mmmm" noise again. At this point I was silently asking Laura's right armpit, "What the Actual Fuck?" Laura, undaunted, tried again. "Tissues? Could you find us some tissues?", she continued, touching the tip of her nose for emphasis. He paused and finally moved back just a touch, "What's that?"
Like a grizzly bear, I snottily bellowed into Laura's armpit, "MORE TISSUES! LESS PRAYERS!"
"Oh, ok." and he quietly retreated back to his bench, returning with two tissues. He still wanted to hover, but I think Laura's Jedi mind tricks were finally getting through to him. Even once I used his tissue, he continued to say over and over again, "I'm praying for ya. I'm praying for ya." The entire time, Laura and I held tight to each other. It's unclear whether our embrace was one of comfort or restraint, but the old man finally retreated back to his own sofa unscathed. That was my Christian act for the day.
The nice thing about the creepy old man is he quickly became the worst part of our day and if that's the toughest thing we have to endure today, everything is going to be okay.