November 16, 2012 – Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore.
On this Friday morning, we are exhausted physically and emotionally. Aisha and I do not talk a lot. Her voice is fading; it’s getting closer to a whisper. But she can smile and she can't stop smiling. I want to capture the moment with my phone camera. She offers to give more: a little message for our daughters, and a special one for me. I can see some tears running out of her eyes. She cries, for the first time, since she was diagnosed with cancer.
I remember the fog of that morning. I remember our short night. I especially remember our hope to see the cancer wiped out. For good!
The travel time to Baltimore seems to me an eternity. I have not had time to ask myself what would happen after the surgery. I am confident. Extremely confident… The tumor will be taken out and we will return home a few days later. All we know for sure is that Aisha is going to lose her vocal chords. But this is the least of our worries!
The music program on WGTS 91.9 seems to be made for us. Soft, relaxing and inspiring. But at this early hour of the day, all my thoughts come back to me, consistently. Our life is going to change radically… All I need now is a vacuum in me, so I can be better filled with God’s grace. I do not know what is going on Aisha’s mind. I am so afraid to ask… But her smile reassures me more than millions of words.
The week has been so hectic: we went to the Philadelphia branch of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) with the hope that the diagnosis would be different from what we were already told. Long story short: the second opinion was no different from the Johns Hopkins’. We quickly decided to keep the initial plans unchanged. The surgery which was optional in the beginning of the treatment is now considered critical.
And here we are in this corridor, facing the reality of esophageal cancer and its complications. As Aisha is being taken to the surgery room, as I see her waving me goodbye, I can’t handle it anymore… I burst into tears. Things are falling apart. Literally!
The surgery is planned to last at least 8 hours. I need to fill my mind with some good memories. I start watching some family pictures, including those of our wedding. I am so into it, that I do not notice the presence of Pastor Norm and Kingsley. They are here to accompany me in what would be an unexpected path: God’s path.
Stay blessed, God loves us!