“removed all growth tissue”; “fully recover”
The most important appointment yesterday was with professor Ko himself. I hadn’t seen him since the operation and it was about time he checked up on me. Before the check-up I was a wreck as always. What if he would tell me that the operation hadn’t gone as well as he had hoped? What if he would tell me that there still was cancerous stuff they couldn’t get to?
As always he set me right at ease. I already told you about his hands. Let me tell you about his hands again. His fingers are exceptionally long and very strong. They are the kinds of hands which you feel an immediate compulsion to touch. And when you do, professor Ko is not in the least surprised and he doesn’t draw back. Instead he turns your hand gently around and gives you a little squeeze. This is an instinctive gesture all parents do to children. It means “Don’t worry. I’m in charge here. I will help you.”
“We took out lymph nodes at positions 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5,” he began, pointing to various sections of my throat. “We removed all the growth tissue. There is nothing left. With radiation treatment and chemotherapy you should be able to fully recover.”
“Removed all the growth tissue.” “Fully recover.” We never dared to think thoughts like that. Back in my room again, I can’t stop crying. I cry like I always cry when Diane has given birth to a new, healthy, baby daughter. The cry that comes when the tension suddenly is released, and everything, despite your worst fears, turns out to be alright. I’m so enormously releaved and so infinitely grateful.