Chapter Forty Seven
Tuesday September 28th, 2010: Mid Afternoon
“We have arrived Mr. Rodriguez!” Jack called through the window. “Thanks Jack, I appreciate this.” He looked over at Kolleen with a saddening face, which made her heart ache. “Let’s go see your mom.” She shook his hand lightly. Randy nodded and got out of the limo. There they were, standing outside the ominous sky rocketing hospital. It made him feel very nervous every time he would just lay eyes on the shiny glass.
“Are you going to be okay?” Marcos asked. “Sure I will. I just need to go see my mom for a bit, that’s all.” “I’ll be in the waiting room if ya need me.” He said. Randy nodded once more, and walked with Kolleen through the main doors. He rushed over to the secretary, who was an elderly woman with thick gray hair. She had glasses down to the end of her nose. “May I help you young man?” She asked. “Y-Yeah, my mother is upstairs, do you know where Diana Rodriguez is situated?” Randy replied.
“Yes I do young man. She is residing in room 300, up on the third floor. That’s the chemotherapy treatment and rehabilitation area.” “Thank you ma’am.” Randy jogged down the hallway, and took a left. Kolleen was in his wake, trying to keep up with him. He jolted to the right now, and stopped just outside the elevators punching the up button furiously.
“Come on; come on!” He muttered. Kolleen looked at him with worry, as she saw the fury form in his eyes. He continued to slam hard on the button until it finally clanged open. They stepped inside and Randy immediately hit the third floor button. As they rose ever so slowly upward, he became more and more anxious. He felt Kolleen’s hand tighten around his, drawing his attention towards her. She looked at him with wide eyes, and a slight grimace.
“What’s up?” He asked her. “Your mom’s gonna be okay Ran-Ran. I’m here for you every single step of the way, don’t forget that.” Randy pulled her into a tight hug and kissed the top of her head. “I appreciate that a lot Kol, thanks!” He replied. Just then the door opened, and Dr. Farber as well as Penny were standing outside of it. They jumped back a bit, from their sudden appearance and then Penny smiled. She saw Randy staring at her, and then started tearing up.
“Come here.” he stated, opening his arms. Penny stumbled over to him and let his embrace warm her a bit. “It’s going to be okay.” He assured her. She stepped back and sniffed. “We need to make a decision as to what happens to Mom.” Dr. Farber opened up the charts in his hands and cleared his throat. “Diana is in so much trouble right now that I can’t even see straight. She started out with Lung cancer which turned into Spider cancer and has spread throughout her body.”
“What does that mean though?” Randy replied. Dr. Farber placed a hand on his shoulder, and looked him square in the eye. “Diana is dying son. We can continue to hospitalize her and give her treatment here, or we can figure out a way to send her home and do it there. At the very least we can give her solace in the comfort of her own home.” Randy looked down at the floor, contemplating what they should do.
“What do you think we should do?” He asked Penny. There was a slight edginess to his voice. “I don’t honestly know. Mom should get a say in this.” She stated. “First off, I don’t even know who you are.” Randy replied. Penny stepped back a bit and started sobbing even more. “Randy…” Kolleen stated, tugging on his arm. He looked at her, seeing the anger behind her eyes. “What?” He replied. “Don’t be disrespectful. This girl looked over you when you were injured. She’s your sister for God sakes.”
Randy sniffed hard, and then nodded. He looked over at Penny now, who was cowering next to the Nurse’s station and grabbed her shoulders. “Listen, I apologize for what I just said. I thank you for taking care of me. I am a fool and I am sorry.” He said. Penny sniffed a final time, and nodded in return. “It’s fine Randy, we just need to figure out what to do with Mom.” “Can you take us to her?” “Of course, follow me.” she walked down the hall with both of them behind her.
They followed her for a short while, until they ended up at a room to the very end of a hall and on the left. “Room 300, Diana Rodriguez.” Penny stated, clicking the door open. There, in the bed, sat Diana. Her face looked frail and thin. She had bags under her eyes, and an oxygen mask over her mouth. “Randy, is; is that you?” She called out. Her hand was in the air as she reached for him. Randy jogged over and grabbed a hold of it. “It’s me Mom! I’m here. So is Penny and Kolleen.” He said. Kolleen walked around Randy and held lightly onto Diana’s arm.
“Hey Mrs. Rodriguez.” She said. Diana saw a glimpse of Kolleen’s smile and tried to grin back. “Ow, it hurts.” She clutched hard onto the side of her bed and coughed into the mask. Randy saw specks of red hit the inside and felt his heart break into a million pieces. “My god Mom, why didn’t you tell me you had this?” he asked. He felt his eyes sting once more with tears, as he stroked his mother’s hand.
“I’m s-so sorry Randy, I wanted to tell you, I swear.” She coughed some more. “Here, let me.” Randy said, pulling her oxygen mask off. He wiped her face with a tissue. “God I hate myself so much right now.” “Shush Mom, it’s not your fault. You never asked for this.” he swiped the hair from his mother’s face. “How are you baby?” “I’m doing great, thanks… I-I already have my outfit made up and will have it ready by the next D.W.L. show!”
“That’s just great.” She looked over at Kolleen and then reached for her hand, which Kolleen accepted. She could feel Diana’s arm shake from the weakness. “How are you darling?” Kolleen wiped the tears away. “I’m doing a-alright m-ma’am.” she said, giving a slight gasping laugh. “You’re doing my son a great thing…” Diana leaned in closer. “What’s that ma’am?” she asked. “He needed a girlfriend really badly.” Diana replied. Kolleen couldn’t help but laugh.
“Get off it, Mom!” Randy said, feeling his cheeks burn with embarrassment. “He used to always burn up like that when I cleaned his cheeks in front of his friends. Those were the days.” Randy couldn’t feel mad at his mother, not now. All he felt at this moment was sadness and fury. He hated that his mother had to go through this pain, and then it reminded him of all the others on this floor. And of all those in the world who suffer daily with the same sickness. “I hate that this exists.” Randy said, angrily. He was fuming, which Kolleen noticed.
She tugged on the bottom of his shirt, getting his attention again. He saw the sadness in her eyes this time, and shook his head. “So what should we do with her?” Dr. Farber asked. He was standing at the end of the bed. Penny was twirling her hair, and chewing her tongue. “Do you have any ideas?” She asked. Randy already had his mind made up as soon as they entered this room. He hated seeing his mother inside a hospital like she was now.
“I was paid seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars for signing on with the DWL. How much is it to hospitalize our Mom in her house?” he asked Dr. Farber. He sighed and looked at the charts again. “It seems like she’ll be needing chemotherapy for the long foreseeable future. She will also be needing scheduled nurse visits to make sure her blood pressure levels are good. Despite what I said, the chemo could still help her a little bit, but we’ll give her less doses. Anyway, I would say it will be around sixty thousand dollars a year. Her insurance covers the rest.” “Damn, that much?!” Penny stated. “It’s nothing; I’ll do it sir.” Randy stated.
“Then I will get the papers all set up for you and your mother to sign and then we can get a move on.” He exited the room, with Penny. “Are you sure you want to do this Randy? That money’s yours, fair and square.” she stated. “Don‘t worry about it. I won’t let you suffer in this hospital. I want to make sure that you’re comfortable.” There was a smile on his face, which made Diana grin back.
Dr. Farber came back in alongside Penny, with a thick document. “Just sign at the bottom to indicate you are of sound mind and willing to go to your house under house care.” He said to Diana. “Will do.” Diana replied, signing with a shaky hand. “And you Randy, just sign here stating you are willing to pay for her hospitalization at home. It is only sixty thousand per year, remember that.” Dr. Farber said, handing Randy the pen.
“That’s great sir, but how long are you giving her?” Randy asked as he signed the paper. Dr. Farber just rubbed his eyes after accepting the form back. “I’m going to be honest, she’s suffering a lot. The most we can do is try and help her fight the remainder of the cancer, but there’s no guarantee she’ll make it through. I’d give her a ten percent chance of survival. Maybe even fifteen percent if she gains some strength. But the cancer’s so burrowed into her body that she really is just buying loose time. I’m sorry son.” he finished.
Dr. Farber exited the room. Penny cried hard into her hands, and walked over to Diana, placing her head onto her mother’s chest who hushed her daughter. “We’ll get through this, don’t you worry. I have faith that we can fight this sickness hard. I’ll bust my butt to make sure it happens.” She stated. “We’ll be with you every step of the way Mrs. Rodriguez!” Kolleen replied. “Aw, thank you sweetie. I’m so lucky to have you all as family. And yes, I mean you too Kolleen.”
Randy sighed and stretched. “Mom, I have to get back to getting my sound mixing done. I don’t mean to sound rude, but I only have so much time before this thing gets underway.” Diana heard the depressive back tone to his voice. “Don’t feel guilty son. Rejoice that we have this blessing of money to make this sickness comfortable. Thank you for that gift by the way. Go and get your mind off of this.” Randy nodded in return and kissed his mother’s hand. She stroked his face, and then allowed Penny to tend to her I.V.
Randy exited the room, and ran to the nearest set of stairs. He needed to blow off some steam. “This is so stupid… Freakin’ sickness… Why does it have to be her?! Why does it exist?!” He muttered, running up and down the steps. Kolleen stood at the third floor entrance, leaning against the door. Her face was mixed with utmost horror and depression. “You have to calm down Ran-Ran.” Randy stopped at these words, heaving heavily. He grabbed Kolleen’s hands and dropped to his knees. “Why her? Why does it have to be her?” he asked, and wailed harder. That’s all he knew to do now, was cry and allow Kolleen to try and comfort him.