It's June 7th, 2011, departure day. I was leaving my hospital room... My accommodation during the past few days. It affected me. The staff at the Florida Hospital had been beyond amazing. Their ability to narrow down the illness and diagnose the leukemia in a timely manner [four days] was eminent. The quality of care and being sensitive composed the essence of this medical team. They had the ability to make me feel like I was in great hands. I trusted them.
It was a signal of the hand at 4am from nurse Kelly that lowered my spirits. I was acknowledging the parting. Managing to swallow, I still felt that knot in my throat. We were evacuated by the medevac team. I was on a stretcher with Adam by my side. As we turned the corner, on the 7th floor, I noticed something. I'll forever remember two pictures hanging on the wall. They were endearing. The first photo had footsteps in the sand and the second had a beautiful beach view. My thoughts were specific "Once I'm healed, I'd love to find those same pictures". Even if it meant that I'd revisit the 7th floor and take pictures of them. Full of influence, those pictures restored my confidence. Everything was gonna be okay...
We got on an elevator. The mask I was wearing covered half of my face and that was disappointing. I wanted to share a smile at my husband. Instead, I vocalized it and said: "I'm smiling at you babe" and winked at him. He winked back as we held hands. I was loaded into the ambulance and off we went to the Daytona Beach airport. On board, I scanned every inch of the vehicle. It was equipped with out of hospital medical instruments to transport sick or injured patients. I was the patient...
The doors at the rear of the ambulance opened. I took a first glance at the small medevac aircraft. I remember thinking "all of this for me..?!". Riding in patient-care vehicles all day felt so unfamiliar. Looking up at my husband, I could see the fear in his face and feel the pain in his heart. We weren't at ease at all and had a lot of "out-of-the-ordinary" emotions. A quick change of stretchers, then secured with straps and loaded into the aircraft. It was crewed by two staff members with medical qualifications who provided care, two pilots and my loving Adam. No space to move. The time was 5:30am and the sun was still below the horizon. We started taxiing on the runway and in no time, we were airborn. During the flight, I looked over at my husband. My heart shattered to see that he had buried his face into his pillow to cry. I never wanted nothing more than to comfort him and hold him tight... to relieve all his anxieties.
We cleared custom in the air. A call had been dispatched because the response team was waiting for us. "Here we go again", I thought as another patient-carrying ambulance waited to attend and transport us to the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre.
To be continued...