Whatever I want

Posted on July 17, 2010


So there I was yesterday morning pulling into a parking space behind Louan’s, thinking it was going to be a scorcher of a day. She came down the stairs, happy cat bag slung over her shoulder.

“You ready?”

A look.

Me neither, but today’s the day and he-eeere we go. The morning is already a couple hours into itself, consumed with inept attempts to smudge the car with cedar smoke without setting it on fire, and scolding the Cowboy when he chose this of all times to hare off in mulish disobedience. No time for coffee then, but surely there would be some at the end of our ride. We headed south.

“I started to write something on Facebook,” said Louan, “asking people to send good thoughts and white light and pixie dust, but I pressed the wrong button and it disappeared.”

I know how that goes, so I asked her, “You want me to post an update on the blog?”

“Sure—write whatever you want.”

I mulled that one over. I want world peace, universal health care, excellent public education, and for Louan to be free of the damncancer. Not necessarily in that order.

“I don’t mean that. I mean, what would you like?”

“I would like for this to be over.”

I thought some more. “I’m pretty sure the only way to over is through. You want me to keep driving?”


“OK then.” Tough little beauty, Louan. We accelerated toward Traverse City, armed with cat bags and very clean hair. We swung by to get Joann. Armies have clashed with less firepower than that.

Pretty soon we were assembled in the Surgical Waiting Room at Munson Medical Center. As such places go, it’s pretty good. Complimentary coffee and tea and muffins and cookies. Packs of cards, so you can play euchre or solitaire while you wait. 

A nurse absconds with Louan and Joann and I eat our muffins. Some guy wanders past and takes the pack of cards off our table. We look at each other and say “Well that was rude!” We decide that he’s probably not himself today. We cut him a break and decide not to kill him. We are not ourselves, either.

Then we are summoned to The Desk and escorted into Pre-Op where Louan is the center of considerable nursely attention. I digress to inform you that there are some fine nurses at Munson Medical Center. A whole collection of them gather in that room.

We buckle ourselves in. The day jolts along like an amusement park ride in a fever dream. Pre-Op, Waiting, Node Scan, Waiting, Pre-Op, Waiting, the Big Event, Waiting. We climb the hills, clickety, clack, clack, and lean into the curves, clickety, clickety, clickety, and drop off a cliff.

It turns out that there is damncancer in a Sentinel Node. There will be a long campaign, with chemotherapy as well as radiation, extending into the winter. Louan’s dance card is suddenly very full. 

“Write whatever you want,” she says again this morning, apropos of nothing.  By which I infer that she is not up to posting witty remarks on Facebook today, but wishes that someone would.  She’s just going to rest up a little at Joann’s.  Gather her strength. 

This is what I want.  I want Louan to be at Stone Circle tonight, singing songs about Woody Guthrie Dog and Leelanau County and schmoozing with Wendi.      

I want her to be free of the damncancer.  I want this to be over.  So here we go, through.