Tomorrow morning at this time, I will be headed to Samaritan Hospital in Troy, New York for an ultrasound guided core biopsy. I’ve been told that 80% of these biopsies have a benign result. That leaves 100% of my brain to wander around in what awful scary things that 20% might suggest. Five years ago at this time, my husband, Ray, was told that there was a 1% chance of complications from the heart bypass surgery he was about to have. He signed his consent to the operation. I signed a form to be his health surrogate. We reassured each other that these were just hospital procedures to avoid law suits. Ray’s open-heart bypass surgery was “textbook” according to the surgeon who performed it.
Ray spent 5 weeks on life support in Albany Medical Center’s ICU! A total of 4 months at AMC including their Rehabilitation Unit. So when I hear about “only 1%”, I think of Ray Scott (and I don’t mean the 1% with all the wealth). But I also know that even within that 1%, Ray presented “atypically” and probably set a new record in survival rates! He was the talk of the town in and around Albany Medical Center that summer of 2007. At least by his family, nurses, and doctors – including a team of heart surgeons/ a lung specialist/ a plastic surgeon/ and the Rehab crew. Ray survived all of them and/or because of them, and with the constant presence and sustaining love of his wife, son, daughter, sister and brothers.
I learned many things that summer: not to trust statistics! I told one hospital administrator, “You have many patients in this hospital”, (as I held Ray’s hand in the ICU, tubes coming out of every part of his body), “this is the only husband I have and he is my world”. He did survive and so did I and as he likes to say to prove it we’re here. Ray is not a statistic and neither am I. I go into my biopsy tomorrow as Mary Rita Leisz Scott, wife of Ray Scott, the survivor. And I will have my own story to tell, benign or otherwise. I will keep you posted. Wishing you and me a healthy, happy day.