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  • Karlie Leblanc

She wore her scars like wings

Horses are quietly munching hay in their stalls in the main barn, as I walk through checking waters. Sighing I turn on my heel with my dogs in tow and start back to the house with a small amount of anxiety resting in my soul. You see tomorrow my mother is going under the knife to remove the final pieces of cancer that have taken up residence in my mothers abdomen. Like some sort of sign from above my phone rings and I pull it off my hip to see its my mother calling.


Stepping up on my porch I sit in my rocking chair to answer, "Hi Mom." She returns with her normal banter ... "what are you doing?" ... "How is Kylie?" ... "The horses?" Then the phone gets quiet and she asks "What time are you coming down tomorrow?" Sighing I answer early mom, in reality I am anxious about the surgery and don't want to go but also want the cancer out of her body. "Okay" she returns, "I love you."


The next morning I wake a few minutes before my alarm and head to the kitchen for my coffee. After the cup is done I head outside holding onto my coffee to start morning chores, feeding, mucking stalls, and filling waters. The whole time I am pleading with God to not take her. Telling him that he can't have her yet, she isn't done here, she is needed by so many people.


After my pleadings and prayers are done and horses are tended to, I kiss my daughter goodbye and head south. The whole act incredibly reminiscent of a very recent time two months ago when I headed down to the med center for a whole different reason with my other parent.


I head to my mothers house and watch as she walks around getting her paperwork together, making sure I know where everything is, petting her dogs one last time. I grab her hand and make her sit down next to me, "Momma you will be okay just sit for a minute and take a breath." "I know" she whispers quietly back as we sit hand in hand for a moment. Then I pop up off the couch and tell her to get her crocs on we need to go kick cancers butt today!


Several hours later, I am standing in the hallway as they wheel her away "I love you momma" I whisper to no one as the doors shut and I am ushered back out into the waiting room.


I sniff out the coffee in the waiting room, like a narcotic dog looking for the drugs in a school hallway, and pour a cup. The coffee was terrible, absolutely awful, it smelled burnt and even worse it smelled stale from three days ago and then rewarmed to the point of burnt. Turning I find the room is crowded but I feel very alone so I find a quiet corner with an empty chair and curl up in it with my disgusting cup of coffee. The time is ticking by slowly, minute by minute, and hour by hour. Reading helps to pass the time, as I get lost in somebody else's world. I answer the swarm of texts coming through her phone, and when my brother calls I get up and go for a walk to chat with him. He always has a way of anchoring me back to reality so it was quick way to pass a half hour talking to him.


I head back to the waiting room and find that my seat I had claimed only an hour before was now claimed by another distraught looking elderly woman, smiling softly at her, I head to a different area of the waiting room and continue my silent vigil. Another 3 hours pass slowly as I watch many people come and leave, and the clock continues to tick. Reaching the 12 hour mark since I stepped foot in the hospital the receptionist comes to find me to let me know one of the doctors on the team is coming to speak with me. She leads me down a short hallway to one of the consultation rooms. I head in and take up a spot on the corner and draw my knees up to my chin, this couch is uncomfortable and reminds me of another couch in another hospital from my not to distant past. I remember thinking why the hell are all the couches so damn uncomfortable in hospitals when I look up and see her doctor walk in. Setting my legs down I sit up and look at him.


He tells me they are still working on my mother. The surgery is now in its final stages where she is being put back together from all the cutting apart they did. He continues to tell me that he is fairly confident we got good margins. Continuing he says they had to take more than planed but they sent samples till it came back clean. Then following up with they took samples from different spots to send for further testing. I let out the breath I was holding and thank him for his work.


The hours pass into days as she is moved into recovery and then observation. She had a bit of a set back half way through the recovery which kept her in the hospital a little longer but I was still there with her. My aunt arrives into town to assist with my mom and allow me to get back to raising my daughter and running a business.


During some afternoon lessons two weeks after the initial surgery I get a text from my Aunt, "hey call me when you get a second." My heart hits my stomach with a thud and I walk away from people to call her back. "Karlie?" She answers with a questioning tone on the second ring. "Yes maam" I return. "I have some news and its not great ... One of the samples they took came back today." "Karlie they found another small spot near her bladder." Staring at my phone in disbelief, I hit the mute button and walk into my hay barn and growl "Son of a b**ch" at no one in particular. I hit the unmute button on the phone again "okay ... so now what ........"


The fight continues ...


#cancersucks #loveoneanother #justbreathe




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