Autumn's Wind

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Chapter 111: What Next?
(by NativeRose, added on 23 December 2008 12:09 PM)

"Oh, seet Lord!" Autumn's frightened exclamation sent Jamison shooting out of his chair like a cannon.
"What's wrong?" he asked, trying not to make his own fear evident.
"I...I can't move my right arm and leg!" Jamison was torn; he just didn't know what to do next. He needed to tell someone what was going on, but Autumn was crying and hyperventilating, and he just couldn't leave her. God surely heard Jamison's prayer, for at that moment, the neurologist entered the room. She quickly put the chart down and immediately dismissed whatever she had come to say. She rushed toward Autumn's bed, bumping into Jamison in her haste.
"What is wrong?" Bridget OConnor asked in her Irish accent. Noone realized a third person entered until his voice and words brought a semblance of calm to the distraught group.
"Grab Melody," he said into his phone. Oh no, Autumn thought, the new oncology nurse is going to think I'm crazy! Dr. OConnor was immediately summoned to the hospital emergency room for a stroke patient, so Zachariah, the new male nurse, took her place. "this is one of the most frightening things...of my life!" Autumn lamented, quickly dismissing her earlier embarrassment. Surely Zachariah would understand, and the compassion in his eyes reassured Autumn that he would not judge her.

When Bridget returned later, she had a surprising proposition for Autumn. She asked Sariah; Melody, the hospital social worker; Kyle Corbin, the chaplain; Abbie, Jason's future wife; Jamison and Jason to be present. She decided it would just be too traumatic for Lance to be in on this most personal, momentous meeting. Someone could tell him at a more appropriate time.
"I wanted to talk to you about treatment options, benefits and risks. I have spoken to the oncologist, and there is a specific treatment that will work best since the tumor is metastatic."
"And that is...?" Jason asked.
"I want to do another CT scan so we can pinpoint the exact location. We can try to surgically remove it if there is minimal risk to other brain damage."
"I want you to remove as much as you can."
"The risks are bleeding, infection and possible brain damage."
"I'm already going through enough of that with seizures, these awful headaches and now the paralysis and weakness. Sometimes I just wish it would all go away...somehow." Jamison reached for her hand, and Jason started to speak.
"Don't say such things!"
"How would you know what this is like? You're not in my body, and you have no idea how this feels, so kindly shut your mouth!"
Jason stood there with his mouth open and shock displayed on his face. First, he knew that wasn't the right thing to say as soon as the words left his mouth. But this wasn't normal behavior for Autumn. But wait. The neuro and cancer docs had said personality changes could take place. Jason just had to remember that this monster was really the cancer emerging, and the same sweet, gentle spirit dwelt within her ravaged body.
"We can also do whole brain radiation..."
Oh, what was the doctor going on about now? Autumn couldn't believe how she had just responded to her father. What the heck was wrong with her? What was happening? She never thought she would ever turn into this conflicted, emotional bomb. The silence drew her out of her thoughts.
"I guess I want whatever you think will help."
"First, I ant a CT scan, and then you can decide for sure." As the doctor opened the door to exit, Jason and Abbie slipped out of the room unnoticed. Abbie had seen the stricken expression and thought he needed immediate and serious emotional support. Besides, there were still four people in Atumn's room to see to her. Abbie and Jason would return when it would be possible and minimally stressful to hold it all together.

They were giving Autumn another chance at life. If she thought this was a living death, shouldn't she be the one to decide what to do next? Jamison would never let her consider something like euthinasia or assisted suicide. Aside from the fact that it was illegal, he couldn't let anyone, even Autumn, play God. He refused to follow that train of thought. Autumn wanted to do whatever possible to prolong her life. She wasn't giving up, so it wouldn't be right for anyone else to do so.

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