7 Years


Seven years ago today Aiden underwent a thoracotomy, a big, unexpected surgery for such a teeny-tiny five month old. Aiden needed a chest tube placed to support drainage from a pleural effusion. At the time, complicated pneumonia was thought to be the culprit, a misdiagnosis that ended up saving his life.

I remember the family waiting area. The room was bright despite absence of natural light. Colors of green, orange, yellow cloaked the walls. The chairs, too, were green. I was sitting cross-legged in one of them while I waited.

A nurse crossed through the room. She moved swiftly. Head down. No eye contact.

I waited.

I remember the clock above a consultation room towards my right. I remember watching the minute hand tap, tap, tap as it danced rhythmically along. I felt off. Something, soon to be everything, wasn’t right. I tried to focus on the dancing, the tapping, the clock.

I waited.

Two doctors recently known, a hospitalist and a pulmonologist, entered. They walked towards us. I remember one kneeling and one pulling a chair close.

I don’t remember how the conversation began. I don’t remember how it ended. I don’t even remember if I spoke.

All I remember was being told, “We found a tumor and it looks malignant…”



Aiden’s oncologist entered the exam room. She walked towards Aiden. I remember her smiling. I remember Aiden showing off his Lego jeep.

The conversation began with pleasantries. It ended with tears. I remember saying, “thank you.”

The phrase I remember most? “…five years remission.”

At that moment, right before my eyes, hope transformed into something tangible.

Fortunately, for me, I am locked in. Forever and always, determined. Losing hope is no longer an option. No reminder needed.

Hope is Aiden.