Back in early February, when I first knew I might have to have surgery to remove my thyroid, I told my boss what was going on with my health. His sister passed away about a year ago from colon cancer. Needless to say, my announcement that I have thyroid cancer was disconcerting to him. He was appropriately sympathetic and, I thought, supportive. The next afternoon when he arrived at work he called me into his office for a closed door discussion.
Boss-Man: “I assume this cancer means you will have to have surgery?”
Me: “Yes, at some point. I need to find a surgeon and an endocrinologist first.”
Boss-Man: “Well, I don’t mean to sound insensitive, but I do need to think about the needs of this office in relation to the possibility that you may be out for some time.”
Boss-Man: “Do you know of anyone who might be willing to come in here to do your job while you’re out?”
Me: “I don’t really know many people at all here in Phoenix, but I’ll think about it.”
Boss-Man: “Maybe you should call some of the temp agencies…see what they have. And see what the ‘going rate’ is for temporary help.”
I was a little floored that he was bringing this up after declaring that he didn’t mean to be insensitive, but I gathered myself up and went to my desk before letting the tears spill down my face. I was so scared and still quite in shock from finding out that I have “Follicular Carcinoma”; now I was scared that my job might be in jeopardy as well.
I thought about it for a couple of days and then remembered that my friend’s 20 year old daughter wasn’t working the last time we spoke. I called my friend and asked if her daughter was still looking for a job, explained the situation and told her I thought Nikki might be a good fit. My friend said she’d check with her daughter and have her call me, which she did the very next day. I told her about me going in for surgery sometime, probably soon, hopefully sooner rather than later. Nikki said she was interested and I asked her about her skills and requested that she send me her resume’. She emailed it to me that night (this was back in early-February) and I printed it and gave it to my boss. Of course I heard nothing more from him on the subject for several weeks.
After my surgery was scheduled, I asked Boss-Man, several times, if he had something else in mind for covering my desk or if he wanted to talk to Nikki. But, he couldn’t be bothered about it then.
“Talk to me about this next week, remind me.” he said.
Next week took about 6 weeks to get here. I finally sent him a nasty-gram email asking him what he had planned…I didn’t know if Nikki was still available or not, but we’ve got two weeks to interview and train someone at this point. He decided to have me call Nikki and she came in for an interview with Boss-Man a week ago last Thursday. I started training her this past Monday.
I do all the administrative jobs in my small office. I’m the receptionist,marketing person, office manager (my official title), technical support, maintenance person and special projects coordinator. I fix computers, create marketing packages and advertisements, send emails, print, scan, fax, copy, clean, move, order supplies and keep the office in working condition. If the light bulbs burn out or we need a new electrical outlet installed, I call a maintenance person. If a contract needs to be written, I write it. If we need a new phone system or printer for the office I seek out providers, do interviews and cull the lists down to the final two or three prospects that make the most sense for our office, taking into consideration the size of our company and the cost of the product or service.
I was given four days (I ended up getting 5) to impart this knowledge, which has taken me 2+ years to gather, to Nikki. She has done very well given the limited time we had for her training. But it’s been a whirlwind week. Every day flew by. I think she has enough knowledge and instinct to carry her through this next week while I’m out, she has good computer skills and a very sweet manner. She will do fine as long as nothing out of the norm pops up, and she has my phone number if something does.
This morning I woke up to the phone ringing downstairs (the handset for the upstairs phone was left on the coffee table last night). I didn’t reach it in time, but the two messages left in voice mail made me cringe.
The first message was from my cousin (who is like a sister to me), left at around 6-something. The second message was from her mother, my auntie (also very dear to my heart). My uncle (who is truly one of the most wonderful people I’ve ever known) left Colorado yesterday to come for my surgery. He made it quite a ways yesterday after having trouble with his truck that morning and finally getting on the road about 2:30. He got up early this morning and set off toward Phoenix. Unfortunately he did not make it very far. He hit an icy patch on a bridge and rolled his truck!!!
I called my cousin first and left her a voice mail. Then I reached my aunt who told me more of the details of the accident and gave me the number to call the hospital where my uncle was in the emergency room. I was able to finally reach him on his cell phone. He said he was banged up and bruised and had some superficial cuts, but the x-rays appeared to be negative and that he was okay. He actually sounded almost chipper. TALK ABOUT SAYING A THANKSGIVING PRAYER!!
I think he’s probably hurting more than he let me know, but I’m just so grateful that he’s okay. I can’t even type this without tears streaming down my face. It doesn’t matter that he can’t be here for the surgery; it DOES matter that he will be okay when he stops hurting from the accident. Please, PLEASE pray for a safe trip back to Colorado for my Aunt, Uncle and Cousin. I love them all dearly and they’ve been through so much today! And PLEASE pray for a speedy recovery for my uncle.
LATER THIS MORNING……..
Later this morning I had a scare with one of my cats. My oldest stepson was petting Sassy (whom my husband has given various other names to over the years, but her original name is Sassy) this morning and noticed a strange growth by her dew claw. OMG!! There appeared to be a “warty” patch next to the claw as well. I called my vets office and asked to get her in this morning. They kindly informed me that they had no appointments until Monday. I kindly, but firmly informed them that I was not available on Monday and that I needed her seen TODAY! They worked her in. It was, in fact, her dew claw, which had grown extremely fast and had curled around and ingrown back into her paw! Fortunately, only the claw was the problem. The warty patch was just a scab where the claw had irritated her pad. They removed the claw, clipped her other claws and told me that as cats get older their claws grow really fast and that I need to trim her nails often! You can bet I will be on top of that one from here on out!!
My grandfather, who lives in Wyoming, is not doing well. He has lymphoma and another kind of cancer that is kind of like leukemia that is keeping his blood from making platelets, which are needed for clotting. When he gets the tiniest cut or scratch he will bleed for days. He’s not in a lot of pain, but it’s still sad to know he’s suffering from these cancers. I was blessed to get to go visit him in November last year. I’ve really missed Grandad since I don’t live in Wyoming, close to him, anymore. He’s in his early 80’s and I’m really worried about him. He does seem to be in good spirits, however. He’s been a big part of my life and I’m not ready to let go of him just yet. You know?
I’m drained…I need to do laundry and pack for the hospital. We’re having a BBQ here tomorrow with some good friends so I have food prep to do, too. AND, I have to take the boys to their church in the morning as oldest stepson has a special ceremony to participate in. That is before the BBQ.
I need the surgery on Monday to remove the cancerous thyroid from my neck. But more than that, I think I need this week of down time. I think the real fun starts sometime after we get the pathology report back on Wednesday, but I’m kind of looking forward to a couple of days in bed and a full week off work!