Monday, August 11, 2014

A Visit From the Plumber

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Our plumber calls in the morning to let me know he will be able to come over and put my new faucet in. Ray has been our plumber for longer than we have lived in this house.  We met him when he did a repair in an apartment we lived in, and we thought he was amazing. We used to call him Super Mario after the video game, because he was like Mario, a super plumber, and always on the move.

Ray grew up in the same neighborhood I did, although we didn't know each other then. He installed our heating system when we first moved into the house we live in now, and through days of getting that job done, we talked about many things.  I learned that Ray is a perfectionist, and got his electrical license because he didn't like waiting around for the electrician to come before he could finish a job. This is just one of the many wonderful things about him.

I have always had children around when my house during the times when Ray needs to do repairs, and he has always been good with them. He takes time to talk to them, and is patient as they watch him in awe.  It is always exciting when he comes, and Ray has had many little fans at my daycare.

As time has gone on, he's always come right away in any emergency. Ray is patient about the unique aspects of working at my house.  He always tells me I'm like a little sister to him. We have a really sweet relationship.

I have been accumulating a list of things I need Ray to do. It seems silly to have him come over for one a small job.  This sink has been leaking since the spring, the light switch in Alex's room stopped working, the downstairs bathroom sink is loose, and since he is coming over anyway, there is this fan that I bought years ago that should have been put up in Alex's room, but I kept forgetting to ask him if he could put it up.   I'd also like to put one in Steve's office if he has the time.

We watch from the window as Ray pulls his big white truck up in front of the house.  This will be an exciting day.  I go outside to greet Ray, and he asks me how I have been.  He says, "Your looking a little thin, Kath, what's up?"  So I tell him, point blank.  "I have colon cancer."  I can't believe I said it just like that.  No beating around the bush. I am surprised at how casually I say this.

Ray almost falls over.  He can't believe it.  I feel bad that I have shaken him up so much.  After he recovers a bit, we head into the house and I show him the new faucet I have chosen, with his assistance.  I texted him a photo of it from Lowe's to be sure it was up to snuff.

The day is really warm, and being under the sink is not an easy job.  I watch him for a little while with the kids, and I can't imagine how he keeps his back in the crazy arched position he does as he works under the sink.  It looks painful.

He gets the faucet all set for me and says he'll come back on another day to get the other jobs.  It's hot, and he is a little tired.  He tells me he's going to the doctor's next week, and he's going to get a colonoscopy.  I am not sure if he already has appointments scheduled for these things, or if he is doing it because of my news, but I am glad he is going. The world would be a sorry place without the super plumber.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

This morning I took my sister Sara in for a colonoscopy.  We were there bright and early, six o'clock.

I made sure she was all settled before I headed back to my house to get ready for the kids.  The receptionist told me she would be ready by ten, and she would call me half an hour before Sara would be ready to go home. I was busy feeding some of the kids breakfast when the doctor's office called. Steven and Kaileigh took over so I could go.

When I got to the office, they let me into the recovery room so I could see Sara.  She was feeling a little discombobulated from the drugs they had given her, but she looked good.  We waited together to hear what Doctor Chin had to say. 

He told us that things had looked good, but that she had a small polyp that needed to be removed.  He didn't think it was cancerous, but they will biopsy it to be sure. I asked where it was located, and he told us it was in the sigmoid section of her colon.  This is the same place where the mass is located in my colon.  This just seemed too freaky.  I was so relieved Sara had made an appointment for a colonoscopy.  It seems like this might run in our family.

I drove Sara home so she could rest, and she spent most of the day sleeping off her anesthesia.  Steve helped by being Sara for the day.  I was relieved and grateful for the continued good health of my sister, and the willingness of my husband and children to help us through these complicated times.

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