Chapter 39

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The next morning had gone by fairly quickly. Lauren was still in good spirits and seemed to recover very well from surgery. The first few hours of the day were filled with more tests and some scans to see her healing process. Apparently she was in good shape. At least that was what the nurse had said when I had come back from getting my fiancée some “real” breakfast. She had asked me to go out and pick up something to eat for her outside of the hospital. I was just happy that she had an appetite. No matter how prestigious the hospital was, the food wasn’t what Lauren was used to and I didn’t mind getting her what she wanted. Normani, Alexa and Chelsea had even stopped by for a few minutes to see their friend before having to go about their own day.

It was around noon when Dr. Phelps came in to give us an update on what was going to happen next. The woman in scrubs held a chart and some other papers while greeting us with a smile. I was sitting on the edge of the bed and immediately grabbed Lauren’s left hand. Whenever I felt the engagement ring beneath my fingertips, a sense of serenity washed over me. Even if it was just for a few moments, I loved the feeling of something physical to prove our bond. After exchanging pleasantries, Dr. Phelps checked more or her papers and let us in on her evaluation.

“Your stats and vitals look very good. It seems that you have recovered nicely as I had hoped. Do you have any pain?”

“No, I’m fine”, Lauren answered and was sitting up straight in her bed, squeezing my hand gently.

“Ok, I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t start the first cycle of chemotherapy from a medical standpoint. Unless, you say you want to rest some more and maybe prepare yourself mentally”, the older woman with a PhD suggested.

“I’m more than prepared”, the green-eyed responded quickly. “I really want to get this started.”

“Alright then”, the doctor said and closed the chart. “As I have told you before, you’ll get intravenous chemotherapy as a drip which will take about two hours. You can drink, eat or do whatever you please. Most patients bring some music, a book or even a movie when their treatment takes several hours. In your case, we can set up the treatment in your room today but you could also go downstairs to our Chemotherapy Unit. I know you value your privacy but sometimes it is helpful to find other people who share the same experience. It is your choice but most patients benefit from having an additional support group other than the one they already have at home.”

My eyes darted from the doctor to Lauren. I could see the wheels turning in her head and trying to make a choice. Knowing how much she wanted to protect her private life, I was surprised she was even considering the other option of letting strangers know she was also a cancer patient. She met my gaze and I smiled reassuringly to make her feel understood no matter what she decided.

“I think I would like to go to the unit”, she said very surprisingly.

“Good, I’ll let them know you’re coming. And I will get you’re discharge papers ready so you can sign them before you go. You are stable and I think you’re ready to go home after you’re done with the treatment downstairs. So, you can pack up and get dressed while I set everything up. One of the nurses will take you to the Chemotherapy Unit and I will come by later to see you before you leave. Ok?”

“Yes, thank you again”, Lauren replied genuinely.

“Thank you, Dr. Phelps”, I concurred.

“No thanks necessary. That’s what I am here for”, the doctor said humbly before leaving the room.

I looked at the woman in bed and could detect some nervousness in her facial features. Her eyes were a little squinty and she was frowning more than usual. She was obviously very new to this and I had some previous experience with my mother who had undergone the same treatment.

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