I know how to write songs. I know how to give presentations to large groups of people. I know how to drive a stick shift in Australia. I know how to make pickled herring. I even know how to whistle. But I have no idea how to surgically remove cancer cells from Linda’s body.
So this morning at 6:30 am we first stopped off at St. Paul’s Hospital for a sentinel node infusion (I don’t even know what that is). Later, as I dropped Linda off at Mount St. Joseph’s Day Surgery, I felt rather helpless. And thankful at the same time. It’s a weird ambiguous combination of anxiety, inadequacy, relief, nervous energy and immense gratitude. That there is this team of trained humans who have dedicated a lot of their time to learn how to find cancer cells hiding inside bodies, who know how to properly administer anesthesia, who know how to make stitches and dress wounds, who know how to reconstruct body parts and move blood vessels and all kinds of other things most of us have no clue about. So there’s that. And the blurry feeling of gratitude and helplessness.
Aaron Neville said it best:
“I don’t know much but I know how to love you. And that may be all I need to know”.