After all that had gone on in the last couple of weeks after Cydney was born, we were still figuring out our options on whether or not we were going to stay in New York or move to Buffalo for TImile to do her treatments in one of the two places. Virginia was out of the question because the offer that Timile’s parents had put on the table meant splitting us up and we were not going to do that. While in the hospital between visits, taking care of Cydney, and arguing with social workers, I was making and receiving phone calls from Timile’s family all giving me or asking me why I wouldn’t want Timile to go to Roswell Park in Buffalo. I simply told them, “If it were you and you had the opportunity to go to the number two cancer hospital and you all had a new child what would you do?” They didn’t hear me though and Timile really wanted to go there.
Timile and I were going head to head about it as well. This was a similar discussion we were having while in Atlanta. She wanted to move to Buffalo when she was pregnant because she felt that the pregnancy was going to be difficult. We were going through some rough times in Atlanta but I thought staying there would be a better option. We compromised and came up with moving to New York because it was right in the middle of her family in Buffalo, her parents in Virginia, and mine in New York. After it was all said and done, we were going to come back to Atlanta. Those conversations got pretty intense, and so did these.
After talking with my father one afternoon, he said “I think you all should go to Buffalo.” I took it seriously. I usually do when my father says things. He’s not the most considerate of feelings but he keeps it real and I know when to listen. It was eerily similar to the conversation we had when I was telling him about Buffalo that summer. He gave it to me real, then so I listen.
Timile’s grandmother, uncle, and two of her cousins came down from Buffalo the week we got home from the hospital. We already had an appointment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering so we were going to go there and see where things went and make our decision based on it.
We got there for Timile’s appointment and the oncologist told us how shocked they were at TImile’s diagnosis. She told us that the average age for Timile’s cancer is 73 years old. Wow. They admitted her immediately because she needed to be. Timile wasn’t too fond of going back into the hospital only three days after getting out. Sloan-Kettering had the equivalent of an emergency room. It made her family and her tear up seeing all of these people who were very sick, bald, and ALL cancerous waiting for beds or to be seen on a Monday night. It was an emotionally shocking moment. It did something to me, but logically I thought about it as it being a cancer hospital so it made sense.
The days at Sloan-Kettering were ok. The staff was really nice, and they really took care of Timile. Timile just didn’t like how it felt being there. It was also in Manhattan, which meant that I had to drop Cydney off in Queens at my grandmother’s, then drive to the city, spend $36 on parking everyday, get home at about 1 AM, and still do the being up all night with a newborn. Yeah, shit was starting to get real. That more than anything changed my mind about staying in New York. But, we needed to try it and see it for ourselves to make sure we had no regrets. However, their cafeteria was great and the view from Timile’s window was one you’d pay a million dollars to have living in New York. I will say that.
We got the go ahead to bring Cydney up to the hospital. I’ll never forget that day. It was the day that Timile had exploratory surgery. Timile’s surgeon was like one of the most renowned surgeons or something. They had these really nice waiting rooms where family person had a private room with these oak walls and everything. After getting lost and sitting in there for a while. The surgeon came to me and told me that Timile in fact had stage four cancer and it had spread throughout her abdominal region. My heart dropped and I just looked at my little girl thinking “I hate that you have to go through this.” I looked at her and that was the first time I’d thought to myself “Well, it just may be you and me kid.” The nurses gave me a moment to myself with Cydney and they did all they could do to try to be comforting.
I went to where Timile was recovering looking visibly upset. She smiled at me and asked what was wrong. I don’t remember whether or not we actually talked about it. We held hands for a second. I remember looking out of the window right by where we were and seeing the city I’ve known all my life just moving by and everything right where I was was still. We went back to the room where Timile was staying, watched the NCAA tournament and had a normal day after that. We also made the decision that we were going to move to Buffalo.