Right now as I sit here at my desk, my mind drifts back to this same day 4 years ago. on that day at a time close to this, I was laying in a hospital bed having been x-rayed, poked, prodded, had needles thrust into me, blood flowing through them into test tubes with various coloured tops, and then the final agonizing pain of long needles thrust at obscene angles to mark the multitude of small tumours that will be scalpeled from my body today. The needles then get black circles drawn round their entry sites and are then taped painfully flat. I am waiting for my surgeon, the man I have entrusted with my life … in hopes that he will not fail me and rob me of it.
The door opens and he walks in, soft caring smile on his face, clothed in green surgical scrubs. He lays his hand on my leg and gazes into my eyes and speaks quietly … “have you seen the news yet?” I answer him with a slow shake of my head, my brow furrowing in question. Before another word is spoken I am lifted carefully from my bed, groggy from the sedative I have been given but aware that this is the first time I have EVER felt safe in the arms of a man. He carries me as if I am a feather into the TV room and eases me into a chair, he moves to stand behind me, his hand rests upon my strong shoulder as I look at the screen before me.
Smoke billows from a building I immediately recognize and the commentator who is trying hard to sound calm, fails. a passenger plane has been flown into one of the WTC towers. I feel my shoulders sag, tears rain down my cheeks and just as I am about to turn my head to speak to him, the second plane strikes. We remain, me shocked and crying, him strong and patient. The news commentator tells of the plane in Pennsylvania, about the pentagon and the pictures show the lucky ones shuffling, aided by those who can, clambering free of the towers. Sirens whine, the towers collapse, people running, dodging into shops and covering their faces from the cloud of dust and debris.
“I’ll have you home tomorrow, you have my solemn promise” he says, “but for now, we need to get started.” He calls for the porters and I am helped onto the trolley. My eyes stare upward in silent prayer as I am wheeled through the corridors and into the operating room. The anesthetist is about to put the mask over my mouth and nose and i hear a voice … “wait” … it is him again, leaning down to look into my eyes. “I found some music for you to listen to” he said, then nodded to the anesthetist. the mask was put in place and to the strains of ‘God Bless America’ I drifted to sleep.
Where he found the music I’ll never know but it served its purpose. I fell under the influence of drug induced sleep feeling safe and proud of my nationality.
I have many breast cancer related “anniversaries” that I remember but the date 9/11 will stick in my mind more than most.
God Bless America, my home sweet home !!!