High Alert! That’s the overall sensation I have in my head when I hear about Angel’s diagnosis.

pink-carnationsHigh Alert! That’s the overall sensation I have in my head when I hear about Angel’s diagnosis. A feeling that I need to be ready to answer a request for discussing, helping, and/or listening. I wouldn’t describe my feelings as anxiety so much although it is quite sad to hear of your friend’s cancer diagnosis. It’s more a feeling of this is what’s happening now, what has to be done, and how do you support her through the process. This feeling of being on high alert becomes part of your daily consciousness until there is a new normal, a safe one for Angel. This feeling is actually heightened on the day of the surgery. There’s much discussion with the family about the length of time the surgery will take, recovery time, the surgery details, and overall angst at the scale of the procedure. Concern sets in about the doctor and if he will be a hero for performing such an amazing operation or if he’ll be hated because he could have done more to help. There is a need to ask the nurse at the desk if there’s been word yet, is the operation over, how did it go, and can we see her? The request for results is premature, but the need to know is not. So I try to knit and relax, but the pattern is all wrong. I make small talk with the family and try to be light until we get word. The wait is painstaking. When word from the doctor comes that the operation was very successful, we are relieved of course, but I can’t confirm that until I see for myself, by seeing Angel. Angel may have been in better spirits than those of us facing her in recovery. Her daughter almost passed out when she saw her. I was amazed at how well she looked after the magnitude of the operation she just went through. I was very relived and happy to know that the surgeon did a great job and my friend could start to rest and heal. The high alert just came down a notch knowing her spirit, and those around her, would help her thrive.

D.M. FRIEND

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