Monday morning before our appointment, my mom (aka Moomers) called a retired pathologist to whom she has a connection. He had offered to talk through anything that was going on. This man, Tom, listened to our situation and made it clear that he believed the pathology results for Chris should have been in long ago. He didn’t see a reason why the type of cancer Chris has wouldn’t be already known. He said he thinks the world of Dr. Windsor, but he suggested that if we were told in our appointment that day that there still wasn’t a clear answer, we should ask, “Who can we go to to get an answer for this?”
As you all know, that is what we were told at our appointment. I sat there, my little notebook open with Tom’s name in it, ready to challenge Dr. Windsor, ready to complain and not accept “no news” for an answer. But the defeat of the moment felt so heavy to me. I wanted to open my mouth, but I couldn’t. The thoughts I had prepared went through my mind, but they seemed of so little consequence. I just sat, staring into space, with tears running down my cheeks.
The next day I was able to recognize things from our appointment that were important to give credence to, primarily, when Dr. Windsor said, “The worst thing I could do for you is treat you incorrectly, for the wrong thing.” I was able to think more about his promise to us that he wasn’t twiddling his thumbs but that Chris’s case is his priority. He had taken slides of the tissue samples to the tumor board at Grandview to have as many eyes on it as possible. He had narrowed down the possibilities of what the cancer is to a small pool, and he would continue to work until he knew for sure. He emphasized that Chris’s cancer is atypical.
Then last night, my mom called me crying. I was alarmed, but she said, “I’m happy!” She had received an unexpected message on her answering machine from Tom. He told her that he and his wife had been out that evening on a walking path, and he happened to run into Dr. Windsor, whom he hadn’t seen in years. He brought Chris up to Dr. Windsor, and they talked through his case (as much as they were able). Tom told my mom that he came away from his conversation with Dr. Windsor feeling so confident that he is doing all the right things for Chris—that they are running the right tests and doing the right research. Tom said he believes Dr. Windsor cares about Chris and is concerned about his case and knows he will have the right treatment for him at the right time.
Our desire to get treatment as soon as possible hasn’t diminished a bit. I call the office everyday to ask if the path report is in. But this story is a gift in the waiting time.