Last night I had a dream about telling my mother about my surgery. Not a good night’s sleep at all!
This morning I tried calling her at home again, but she wasn’t there. I figured she was somewhere with her boyfriend, they have been traveling around all summer, so I called her on her cell phone and she answered. I asked her where she was and she said she was in the hospital.
I got frightened – I said why are you in the hospital? It turns out she wasn’t IN the hospital, she was AT the hospital. With her boyfriend, who had gone in for a procedure. It turns out that he has bladder cancer, but it has been in remission. He goes to get checked every three months and today during his routine check the doctors found malignant tumors in his bladder. She was upset and waiting to see him after he got out of the recovery room. She said he had chemo once before and it was awful and he is going to be very upset about this. She just went on and on about it.
Then she said she had to go pick up and watch my sister’s daughter this afternoon, blah blah blah. Then she talked about someone who is supposed to come to her condo tomorrow to paint the bathroom, and maybe she should cancel him because her boyfriend has to stay in the hospital overnight and she might need to take him home because she has his car, blah blah blah.
Then she started talking about her trip to the beach last week, and how she went to a new beach, the one I normally go to, and how she liked it so much better than the usual beach she goes to and how they wrote down the names of a bunch of hotels, blah blah blah.
This went on for about 15 minutes or so, and I didn’t say much, since she didn’t pause much. She just talked and talked. Then she said, “So what is new with you?”
I wasn’t sure this was a great time to tell her, but I figured there wouldn’t be any time great to tell her, so I just told her. She asked me a couple of questions, then said, “Oh my god I have a stomach ache from all of this.” She asked me about my surgeon, and who was he, and did I check him out and research him, and where did he do his residency? I told her that we met him, and he has a lot of experience, and I don’t know where he did his residency. She asked me where I am having the surgery, and I told her “XYZ Hospital” (my local hospital, not a large university or cancer center hospital). Her response? “Oh,” (you’ll have to imagine the tone of voice), “why are you having it there?” I told her that is where the surgeon works. She said that maybe I should go to ABC Hospital – the huge hospital one hour away from where I live – and also the place where her second husband died. I told her that if I hadn’t liked the surgeon I would have gone for a second opinion, but we like him. She asked me to email her his name, and his website, which I did later in the day. She asked for the date of the surgery and said, “Well I am going to be there, no question about that.”
She mentioned a couple of people she knows who had kidney cancer and had surgery and are now doing fine.
Then she got back to talking about her boyfriend. How he is going to be so upset that he needs chemo, and how she was doing research on the internet looking for alternate ways of treating this, blah blah blah. And how he better call his children so that they can come, blah blah blah.
Then she said she had to go, and she would call me tonight. I said ok, and good bye. And that was that. I’m glad I told her, and if she starts bothering me with advice I just won’t answer the phone when she calls. So far it’s tonight and she hasn’t called. And by the way, my surgeon did his residency at Boston University. I wonder if she’ll think that is acceptable. I hope her stomach feels better.