Mom looked disturbed yesterday. Her mind was troubled judging by her facial expression. She then told my wife and I that her doctor referred her to see a specialist in a public hospital. She mentioned about checking on a lump in her left breast. I stopped eating and listened intently. Then I asked,"What time is the appointment tomorrow?" She said it is at 4 pm and she insisted on seeing the doctor on her own.
At 4.30 pm today I decided to give my mom a call. Turned out she was waiting for a van to transport her to the new wing as the specialist has moved to the new wing.
Called back at around 6 pm. Apparently she has gotten a queuing ticket number but there were 20+ people ahead of her. So I decided to drive there to accompany her. I knew what public hospitals are like when queuing to meet a doctor.
I was told getting medical attention from this new wing is similar to getting private hospital treatment at discounted prices. Well, the new wing looked decent but it is quite noisy with a large crowd waiting for medical attention. Anyway, by the time I got to her at around 7 pm, she told me there were 19 patients ahead of her. I asked what time did she get her number. She said it was around 5 pm.
At 8.10 pm, there were about 7 people ahead.
And we waited.
At about 8.40 pm, we kept waiting.
But thankfully, around 8.45 pm, it was mom's turn. The doctor mom was consulting turned out to be quite a pleasant lady in her fifties. She apologised for the long queue. Apparently, the long queue was due to her going off to an important medical convention from tomorrow onwards.
She read the letter and looked at the ultrasound scan. She asked my mom to lay down on the bed so as she can examine the lumps (turned out there are two). Her prognosis based on the limited information she had is bleak. She suspected the lumps are cancerous. She advised mom to see a surgeon in another hospital and get some tests done (mammogram, ultrasound scan and needle biopsy) in her absence. The doctor said with these tests, it would yield a more complete picture to allow her to form a conclusive diagnosis and advice on the treatment mom needs.
This is not good. In fact, it is very bad. Mom, on the other hand, attempted to put a brave and cheery face as she listened to the doctor. But we both knew the coming months would be rough. It had been more than a decade since we last had a cancer patient with us. Those period was the darkest months in my life that will forever change my outlook in life.
As we waited for the lift to take us down, I saw tears building up in mom's eyes.
And all I can think of at that very moment is, "Why? Why now?"
Somehow, thoughts of pain, suffering and death keep popping up. I refuse to have such thoughts. No, it is not time yet. IT IS NOT!
Oh Lord, please heal my mom. Please help her to deal with this just as how you showed me mercy and grant me strength in my darkest hour of suffering and pain. Lord, reveal thyself to her just as you have with me. Grant her a new lease of life just as you graciously gave me. Amen.