As difficult as Jaime’s cancer was, we found that at times the best medicine for the moment was laughter. Let me share a few moments that still make me smile.
- After we had been going to radiation every day for a month, we grew tired of being asked by the “gate keeper” if we were there for an appointment. One day, we got to the gate and they said, “Are you here for an appointment?” Before I could say the obvious, Jaime responds, “No we’re lost and I got so mad I shaved my head!” For some reason, me giving them a thumbs up was enough to get passed the gate after that2.
- We were at Moffit Cancer Institute in Tampa, and the receptionist asked Jaime if her brother (referring to me) could fill out paperwork. I lean in to get the clipboard from Jaime and she kisses me. “Thanks brother,” Jaime says. I did clarify for the confused receptionist that we were related through marriage, and not siblings.
- Jaime was having her port accessed for chemo and the nurse (who was new) said, “Now, Mrs. Hilton this might hurt a little.” Jaime laughs and says, “It’s ok, I had a seizure last week.”
- Another time at chemo, Jaime watched as that same nurse was having difficulty accessing someone’s port. When it was Jaime’s turn, Jaime looks at her and says, “As much as I want to get this done, I don’t want to be Swiss cheese.” I got them to get Jaime another more experienced nurse. We got dirty looks from that girl every time we came!
- In the beginning of her many appointments, Jaime would agree to being weighed and have her height taken. As she became unable to stand, when they would ask her to get on the scale, she would say, “Just roll the wheel chair on the scale and subtract thirty. I used to be a size 6. You can just write ‘swollen.’” Again, they stopped asking her to get on the scale. Which was good because it was difficult to get her up out of her chair and hold her up.
- During one of her many hospital visits, a young doctor came in and asked, “So how are we doing today?” “Never been better,” Jaime replied. “I had a seizure last night, I have cancer, and I just peed on myself. How has your day been?”
- In pre-op before Jaime had her “blood clot catcher thing” put in, she told the surgeon, “Feel free to remove any extra fat from my butt. I have a Ralph Lauren dress I plan on wearing again one day.”
- Jaime was being taken back from an MRI (she had MANY MRIs!) and her nurse was complaining about the traffic in the hall. “Maybe if you pretend you are going into labor they will move,” she joked. Jaime responds, “Or, we could just tell them I have cancer and am dying?”
Jaime and I made the best of the worst and her humor was there up until the end. I am sure she has shared with everyone in heaven some of the crazy things we did.