Today's soundtrack: Oasis (of course)
The Boy won't be pleased about this but I've got to get it out of my system. Sorry Matt.
Spent all day Friday at the hospital in Bath, waiting.
I'd arrived about half an hour after Matt went down to theatre. A good thing, because I was having a bit of difficulty holding myself together and the last thing he needed was me fussing and fretting. A bit of calmness from his Mum, a huge amount of maturity from him, and he was wheeled away, with me well out of it, battling the fog on the M4 and the mist in my eyes.
A nice touch on the way into the hospital, made me smile when I needed it.
"I'm looking for my son, he's having an operation today."
"Well, I can direct you to the childrens' ward sir?"
"Err, no, actually he's twenty."
"No, you don't look old enough sir..."
Well you get your positives where you can on a day like this, don't you?
I tracked down the day surgery and announced my presence to the girl on the front desk, and settled down to wait. Could be 5-6 hours, they'd said. Nothing was going to happen for at least that time, but where else was I going to be? 100 miles away in Staines? 200 miles away up north?
So I waited. Drank coffee and ate doughnuts.
And waited. Read my book.
Matt's mum returned around four, and we sat and waited together. Eventually some news began to filter through.
"First part of the operation finished, about two hours into the second part."
"Getting close, about 45 minutes to go. All seems to have gone ok."
Then, finally, after eight hours of surgery, the news we'd been waiting and praying for.
"All finished, all fine, Matt's going into recovery now. You'll be able to see him in an hour or so."
The second surgeon came to talk to us. Yes, it took longer than anticipated, but no complications. Just took a while to feel their way through the Waring Fat Neck and cut out all the Bad Things. And all the indications are that they've got everything they need to get out - a big lump had to be removed, some other bits and pieces - but they managed to save some of the thyroid itself and it seems all major arteries, veins and nerves escaped untouched.
If there is any Bad Stuff left, the radiotherapy should sort all that out in a few weeks' time.
So finally, we got to see him. He's going to have a cracking scar - no-one's going to mess with him round the pubs of Huddersfield, that's for sure! Currently stapled together pretty much from ear to ear, tubes coming from orifices old and new, but - oh thank God - awake, breathing and talking. With a raging thirst, of course. Oh, and sadly lacking his collection of festival wristbands - they had to come off before the operation as well!
Spent about an hour and a half with him, then left him to sleep. Lost it a bit again on the way out, but - finally! - pulled myself together before the long drive home.
Thank God Matt had the presence of mind to realise this was something he had to see the doctor about - and that they were quick to respond and get him in as soon as possible. Thank God for the skill of the surgeons and the care on the ward.
Matt's still got a few hurdles to get over - not least the radiotherapy in the New Year - but this was the worst bit. Let's hope the New Year brings good things - not the remorseless knocks and battles that 2009 subjected us all to.
You gotta walk, don't look back.
So today's soundtrack. Nothing random today - for Matt, it has to be Oasis really. But which song? Well there can only be one. A song of optimism, joy and defiance.
Maybe I just want to fly
I want to live I don't want to die
Maybe I just want to breathe
Maybe I just don't believe
Maybe you're the same as me
We see things they'll never see
You and I are gonna live forever
Take care, Matt. Thinking of you always. Gentle shoulder charge - Love you mate.