I saw superheroes today. Not the kind that normally come to mind.
The 9th floor of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center was absolutely crawling with them.
None of them had capes. And they weren’t any funny colors.
None of them could fly, and yet I am sure that’s what they were.
I saw young bald superheroes with smiles that could light any room.
I saw older, more mature superheroes, heroically managing their IV poles, after teaching a younger one not to cry.
I saw parent superheroes, who although their capes were invisible to the naked eye, possessed nerves of steel, and the ability to make their young one laugh even as they themselves were inches from despair.
I had a lot of time to watch them. We had a long wait this morning. And even as I kept Meghan distracted, my eyes never left them.
They navigated the floor like it was home, handled IV poles and ports and masks, like they were additional appendages.
These people- the young ones and their parents, are made from a stock stronger than most of us. They endure the unimaginable, day after day. Some endure it for years on end. And they press on – because that is what you do.
Sometimes it ends well, and some times it doesn’t. But while you are there there is no time to think, or to wonder. You must just press on.
That is the story that the 9th floor of MSKCC told me this morning, as we waited for preadmission testing.
Meghan had a 9 AM appointment and between blood work, and our meeting with the nurse, we had at least an hour to wait, and watch, and marvel, and wonder, and worry.
The biopsy is Tuesday. The results will be in by Thursday so they say.
Then, we can make a plan. They tell me they can get the thyroid removed in a few days if the biopsy is positive.
If it’s not cancer… get us home. And, if it is – GET IT OUT OF MY LITTLE GIRL!
She will have nothing to eat or drink after midnight Monday. She will be tired, and cranky, and hungry when we arrive on Tuesday. But she will get anesthesia like she asked, and the procedure will be much more humane.
Then, we will wait.