Saturday, April 29, 2017
The "So What Are The Chances Of This Happening?: Part II - Another Meeting" Story
It was an ordinary day. 10:00 am and I'm sitting in the waiting room at Lancaster General Hospital while my wife preps for breast cancer surgery. A few weeks ago, during a routine mammogram, she sensed an uneasiness in the exam room. Wasn't long before she got the news that she was going to need a biopsy to determine if the two lumps in her breast were malignant. After the biopsy, and the news that one lump was cancerous, test after test and doctor's appointment after doctor's appointment followed. Finally it was time to shop for a sports bra as her surgeon had suggested for post-op support. If you read yesterday's story, you got a chance to meet Mary as my wife did during her search for the sport bra. Well, after their meeting and the remarkable circumstances they shared, I was anxious to meet her husband, Ronnie. We arrived about 9:30 am for her 1:00 pm surgery. She first needed to have a needle inserted into her breast showing the exact location of the lump that was to be removed. After she changed into her hospital gown an IV was inserted in her right arm and she was wheeled to the next location, across the street to a different facility, for the insertion of the needle to guide the doctor to the exact spot where the cancer cells were found. Then she was given an injection of nuclear material into the breast which would drain into the sentinel node which the doctor was also to remove. 10:00 am now and I am sitting in the waiting room. I figured that Mary and her husband might have arrived by now, since her surgery is immediately after Carol's surgery with Dr. Beyer. Had no idea what Mary's husband looked like so I went to the check-in desk and spoke to the same young woman, who had helped my wife an hour ago, to ask about Mary's husband Ronnie. "A woman by the name of Mary is going to be here soon. My wife met her a week or so ago when they were both shopping for sport's bras. Her husband's name is Ronnie and I was wondering if you can tell me what he might look like." She asked me, "What's their last name?" I responded, "I have no idea!" The young girl at the next check-in station asked if my name was Larry and I told her yes. "I just checked Mary in and her husband asked about you. He's wearing a tan top with a green sweater and two gold chains around his neck. Shouldn't be hard to find!" she said to me. I began my search and before long I was standing close to a guy who had the two gold chains around his neck. We looked at each other and he said, "Larry." I responded, "You must be Ronnie." We spent an hour together until I was called back to the pre-op room to be with Carol until she was taken for her surgery. I told her all about our meeting and how we are also so similar. "He's a retired policeman. They live in Mount Joy, not far from where our sons live. He's into watching Mecum and Jackson-Barrett Auto Auctions on TV and I told him about seeing Wayne Carini from "Chasing Classic Cars" in the airport a few years ago. Told me they had a Ford Coupe and I told him about our Vette. Then we talked about cars we recently had and we found out we both had Mountaineers. Talk about having things in common." After I returned to the waiting area and Ronnie returned from his visit with his wife, we resumed our talk, much to the astonishment of his daughter who was with him. She sat amazed as we talked as if we had known each other for years. We both agreed we have to get together to share more stories after our wives have recuperated from their surgery. We parted when I was called back to Carol's room after her surgery. I spent the next half-hour or so with Carol as she recovered in post-op. She was finally cleared to leave so I headed to the parking garage to get the car. When she finally got into the car she said, "Just after you left, they wheeled Mary down the hall right past me where I sat in the wheel-chair. I called, 'Mary, is that you?' and we wished each other a speedy recovery as they continued down the hall with Mary on the litter. I have to call her in a day or two to see how she's doing. We'll have to get together and see what else we have in common." I agreed. It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.