George was admitted to the hospital on December 30, which was a Thursday. He was told by the attending oncologist that like his doctors, they suspected leukemia. A bone marrow biopsy would be needed to make an official diagnosis. Unfortunately, since it was the New Year holiday weekend and the lab would be closed all weekend, the biopsy couldn’t be scheduled until Monday. So, that left George to wait in the hospital all weekend without knowing for sure what he was facing. Of course, we had a good idea by now. We were eager to start whatever treatment was prescribed and kick this disease to the curb! That couldn’t happen until we had a diagnosis. So, we visited and watched tv. The attending oncologist for the weekend, Dr. Morrison came and talked to us every day and was wonderful. He explained that it was a very good thing that George caught the leukemia early and was tucked away in the hospital where he safe from getting an infection. He said that if George hadn’t come to the ER when he did, he would have probably seen him there the following weekend for some kind of infection and that’s how they would have discovered his leukemia. He also said that he was glad to hear George was in the gym and exercising when he noticed his symptoms. Dr. Morrison said something that was so wise, I think back upon it frequently even now. He said that we exercise and eat right not so much for vanity or even longevity, but so that we are healthy when we come up against a challenge like disease, we can come at it from a position of strength and health. He told George he was considered “young” for leukemia, as anyone under 60 is! Yay for young!
So, we spent New Year’s Day together in the hospital, welcoming 2022 and wishing desperately that this year had a better beginning. We had planned to meet our friends, Rick and Debi at a local Greek restaurant to ring in the new year with Greek music and drinks and laughter. Instead, I made my traditional Greek New Year’s bread/cake, vasilopita and took a piece to George. He ate it while engaging in another New Year’s Day tradition…watching The Twilight Zone marathon. Just a few days ago, we were looking forward to seeing Dear Evan Hanson on Broadway with a pre-theater dinner at the legendary Joe Allen on Saturday, January 8th for my birthday. It was a different world now.