Unlike a lot of people I don’t get all annoyed about shifting to and from daylight savings time. Yes, it means a week of messed up sleep habits, but I welcome making good use of extra sunlight in the summer and squeezing every drop of light out of the sun in the winter.
When the time change arrived this fall—way too late—it brought to mind another change, more personal. I spent last March 15 in surgery for several hours. I remember coming out of anesthesia in the O.R. and hearing my surgeon dictating his notes: “No sign of cancer.” I recall little else of what he said but that outstanding sentence remained in my mind.
My hospital stay lasted for several days. Most of it I try to forget. Some of it, thanks to morphine, I can’t remember. But I do recollect one very early morning when even the pain meds wouldn’t help me sleep. The window in my room faced to the west and I could almost see the full moon setting through the blinds. I unraveled myself from the sheets and call button, pulled off a monitor and hauled my body and my i.v. on a pole to the window.
I opened the curtains and watched that big fat moon ease itself down into some soft pink clouds on the horizon. The town below was slowly set in motion.
A nurse came in to find out why the monitor was off. She stayed by me for a moment to enjoy the view before hustling me back to my crib.
The surgeon, his team and the other hospital people did their job well. Except for some small scars I’m almost better than before.
Experiences like that make you think. They help you realize what you’ve had, what you might have lost and what you’ve taken for granted. I only wish every search for cancer had the same result.