After hearing Dr. Pavlakis tell me that she would be putting me on “the list”, it was as if time stood still for what seemed like an eternity. For the next several seconds, I heard nothing, it was as if all sound was sucked out of a vacuum. The only remote piece of reality that I felt was Christine’s hand holding on to my hand tighter and tighter with each passing second.
For some reason, this instance is what it all seem real, terror just ran rampant through my head. I remember saying to myself, “Its gonna be ok.” I took a huge, deep breath, and looked at Dr. Pavlakis and said something to the effect that Dr. Hoenig has been preparing me for this for some time.
Having been around doctors for the better part of my life, like it or not, you tend to know when a doctor has your best interests in mind or do they want to get you out of the office so that they can see the next patient so they can bill the insurance companies more if they see more patients. Dr. Hoenig is not like that…I have a lot of trust in her. She has been known to call me to check up on me if my blood tests were a little of balance. In fact, there was one instance in particular that I will never, ever forget.
I was sitting watching Game 6 of the 2004 American League Championship Series – a classic by any stretch – Red Sox and Yankees, ‘nuf said. It was the middle part of the game, the Red Sox were at bat, and in particular, David Ortiz was standing in the batter’s box – at most points during this particular season, all of New England would stop what they were doing anytime this man grabbed a bat and headed out to home plate. Why? Because something spectacular was about to happen, at least that is what we all believed. This man was the shear definition of clutch performer and now he was center stage in middle of a classic Red Sox-Yankees series – some may argue one of the biggest rivalries in all of sport.
At that same instant, the phone rings. It was Dr. Hoenig checking on me and telling me about my blood values. Honestly, I could not tell you what she said to me because at that moment I was only half listening as most of my attention was focused on the TV. But that is what I love about Dr. Hoenig, she cares – plain and simple, she cares!
After Christine and I left the appointment, I called Tommy and let him know what was going on. We decided we would not tell Mom just yet, as she, herself, was waiting for results from a follow-up scan that was taken after another bout with cancer.
I was sitting with Mom on the following Saturday morning when she told me her scan results came back clean. I was so happy for her. But she knew there was something on my mind, as most mothers have that innate sense. I began to tell her that the road was about to get a little more difficult for me. She took a deep breath and said, “we will find you a kidney.”