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The Fifth of October

October 5, 2016 will always be the day that changed everything. My day started with a phone call from Kar asking me if I could drive her to her doctor’s appointment. She felt bad asking me because it was an early appointment, and we would have to take Cole, Ben and Owen with us. She had been feeling off for a few days and wanted to get checked out by her doctor. Her vision wasn’t right and she didn’t feel comfortable driving so I quickly got my two boys ready and headed to Karey’s house. She and Cole were already outside waiting for us when I pulled into her driveway. Her doctor’s office was close by so the drive was quick. Karey gave me directions but seemed panicked and anxious the closer we got because her vision continued to get worse. When we arrived, she rushed into the office to check in, and I got the three little boys out of the car. When I think back on it now, I still can’t believe that later that day I would find out that my sister had a mass on her brain.

The five of us sat on couches in the waiting room for what felt like five minutes before it happened. Cole and Ben were being silly on a couch to my right, and Karey was next to me on my left. I was feeding Owen breakfast when suddenly I felt a constant tap on my arm. I turned to find Karey in the middle of a seizure. I grabbed her and screamed for help. The people in the office were amazing. They worked quickly to move Karey onto her side. A kind stranger moved the three boys away from us and into a playroom down the hall. “What is happening” is all I could think. She was fine a few minutes ago and has never had a seizure before. I moved out of the way so that the doctor and nurses could help Karey and was told to go where the kids were. I immediately called Dave at work, but I had no information for him which was not helpful.

Calm, everyone was calm except me. I remember being so thankful at how calm Cole was. "What just happened? Why was my mom shaking?" Ben and Cole had seen it all, but he was still so calm. I hugged them and reassured them that the doctor was taking good care of Karey.

The kids and I were in that playroom for only a few minutes before a nurse came down and updated me. An ambulance was coming to take Karey to the hospital so I should gather the boys and go before it arrived. The nurse let me know that Karey was awake. I wanted to see her and let her know Cole was with me and was safe, and probably to try to reassure myself that she was too. I now realize how silly that was because Karey didn’t remember anything that had occurred in that waiting room. When I got back to her, Karey was sitting on the couch surrounded by people. I softly tapped her on the hand and said thank god you're alright and to let her know I was taking the kids home. Karey looked at me like she had no idea who I was. That moment was like being punched in the gut. It must have been written all over my face because a nurse pulled me aside to tell me that Karey didn’t remember anything that had just happened. Thankful. I was thankful she did not know what had just occurred because watching someone have a seizure is extremely frightening.

That day was just the start of Karey's fight against glioblastoma. While none of us could know what was to come, I knew at that moment that nothing would be the same. There is a before October 5th and an after now, and I only hope that the boys don’t carry the memories of that day with them the way I do.


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