March SOL Challenge #27


We were together for almost 4 hours yesterday, but our memories of the same event are vastly different.  Interesting how that can happen…….

“When are they going to call my name?”

“Mom, there are a lot of people in this waiting room.  They all have to be called.  I guess they’ll call us when it’s our turn.  Hey!  How about looking through this Boys’ Life magazine?!”  I can’t believe it.  This is the only magazine this stupid place has???  More than half of the people in this waiting room are over 65!!

“No thanks.  You look through it for me.”

Throw that one back.

“Look!  Rachel Ray is on the T.V.!”

“Oh, I don’t like her.  Now, if it was the Barefoot Contessa, that would be great.”

Oh Lord, please call her name!

“Do I really have to take all my clothes off and put one one of those…….coats?”

“Yes.  The Dr. can’t do a check of your skin if he can’t see it.”   Darn it!  Why didn’t I warn her about this before she dressed this morning so she could leave off her bra???

“Well then I should have left off my bra!”  Yep, saw that coming.

“It’s OK, mom.  Maybe he’ll let you keep it on (your bra).”

“When are they going to call my name??!!”

Receptionist: “Jill Cahill!”


We get into the Dr.’s waiting room……for more waiting.

“We should just go.  There’s nothing he’s going to see, anyway.”  Foot starts tapping, eyes look crazed.  (That was me.) 

“Well, you’re undressed and in your coat/gown now.  Let’s just stay and see what the Dr. says.  I hear his voice outside in the hall!  think he’s coming……no, he’s going to the patient across from us.”  Why?  Why can’t he just come to our room?  Doesn’t he know I have a near runaway on my hands???

A total of 43 minutes has passed since we made our fourth trip around the parking lot looking for a handicapped spot, or at least a closer one to the door, and my mom said “Oh, let’s just forget it and go,” to the moment we (irreversibly) made it to the Dr.’s waiting room.   Yep.  That’s the Dr. finally walking through the door.  He’s with us for 13 minutes.  More than his usual amount of time, I suspect.

The Dr. said, “Yes, those spots look like the beginnings of cancer.  How old are you again?”


“Oh, then I wouldn’t worry about it.  It’s slow-growing and, at your age,  If it’s not bothering you it’s not a big deal to just leave it.”  What?  I never thought I’d hear those words in the same sentence…..It’s cancer and I wouldn’t worry about it.  Is this what we have to look forward to later in life?  The older we get cancer just doesn’t even matter????  OK – let’s get lunch!

We sat in my front seat eating our cheeseburgers looking at the robins as they  frolicked in the grass.  The cars were driving up and down Harlem Ave. and we talked and watched.  The mood was lighter as my mom was relieved to be out of that office.  We drove home and then I went back out to run my own errands.

Later that night,  I listened to a phone message my mom left.  She said, and I quote, “Carrie.  I just wanted to tell you what a great day we had today.”  It was really, really fun.  Thank You!!”

Like I said, same experience – vastly different perspectives!


14 thoughts on “Yesterday

  1. Whoa. Oh my god. That is a vast contrast of opinion. I’ve never heard that cancer treatment before but I’ve been becoming more acquainted with geriatric care as of late. It’s not pleasant. I feel for you. Silver lining in burgers and fries? Besides the subject matter, this was a really written slice especially the dialogues driving the story along.

  2. Great peek into your life and a day with your mom. Interesting to hear the two varied perspectives and see your thinking in italics.

  3. This just goes to show that it’s not about WHAT you’re doing when you’re with your Mom. It’s the simple fact that you’re WITH her, doing it together. This one brought a smile to my face as I sit here and read because you make me remember my Mom. Thanks for that!

  4. When I first started reading, I was sure you were with a teen daughter who was on the verge of running away from the doctor! Your conversation sounded like many I’ve had with my daughter. I’m glad your mom enjoyed the day!

  5. The inner dialogue reminded me so much of taking Audrey to the doctor- no magazines she wants to look at, things I should have told her to expect that would make the visit easier, the “Why? Why can’t he just come to our room? Doesn’t he know I have a near runaway on my hands???” and how Audrey tells people what a fun time we had and all I need is a nap from the experience.

  6. This reminded me so much of times with my mom. Thanks – it made me smile. But the notion that cancer doesn’t matter when you’re elderly really is not right!

  7. I really enjoyed this. I’ve done a few doctor visits with my senior parents, too – I can definitely relate to the “two different perspectives.” My guess is that the “great day” for your Mom began after you left the doctor’s, and enjoyed lunch together. Just thinking!

  8. My mom also takes her aged mother from appointment to appointment. I would suspect her words would be yours. I’m glad your mom was able to have a good day out. I loved how you brought peace to the closure of this slice by including how you ate burgers in the front seat while watching the birds. That made me feel warmth and resolution.

  9. Of course, your mom had a great time because she spent the day with you. You were there to dismiss the doctor’s news that she was too old to worry about a slow growing cancer. You turned a low blow into a lunchtime opportunity. You are so kind and patient with your mom. She is so fortunate to have you in her life!

  10. The perspective is so different but at the core of it is the two of you together. Being an advocate, for kids, for parents, it’s what we do. I was shocked the first time the doctor told us my grandpa was too old for cancer treatment. That is a whole new sad perspective. Your mom is so lucky to have you be there for her.

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