Chapter 39

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Once Melanie was back in the exam room she asked the nurse if she could have something for her head.

"I'll have to check with the doctor. Let me see if I can find him."

She disappeared and Melanie laid back on the bed and threw an arm over her eyes. Brian sat down in the chair next to her. He felt helpless. He wanted to take her pain away. He wanted her to be ok. He was lost in his thoughts when Dr. Kendall returned.

"Ok Melanie. It's going to be a day or two before we get the results of the MRI back."

"Really?" she asked.

"Yes. In the meantime I'm going to prescribe you something for the pain and I'm going to get you an appointment with our oncologist. Will the day after tomorrow work for you if I can set it up?"

"Yeah. Sure. The sooner the better."

"Great. She'll go over the MRI results with you and will schedule you for a biopsy. It's possible the tumor can be removed completely and then be biopsied. But Dr. Drake will make that determination. Do you have any questions?"

"If the tumor is benign will I need to do chemotherapy or radiation?"

"Chemotherapy doesn't do much for benign tumors so you wouldn't need to worry about that. If all of the tumor can't be removed, radiation may be prescribed to shrink what's left."

"Ok. When will I know what time my appointment is?"

"I'm going to get that scheduled for you first thing in the morning. I'll have her office get in touch with you to give you the date and time, and they'll want to get some information from you over the phone."

"How soon can I go home?"

"I'm going to start your discharge now," he said as he stood. "So it should be within the hour."

"Thank you," she said, shaking his outstretched hand.

"You're welcome."

He shook Brian's hand then left the room.

"Why don't you come back to my house and let me take care of you," Brian suggested as he sat back down.

"There isn't anything you can do for me."

"Not physically, no. But emotionally I can be there for you. I hate seeing you like this. I hate not being able to take your pain away."

"I don't have any more clothes at your house. And I need to feed Max & Lily."

"Ok, how about this. We'll run back to my house and I'll feed my cats and pack a small bag, then we'll go to your apartment. Stacy can come over and feed the cats the next couple of days. I want to take you to your appointment. I want to be there for you. I don't want you to go through this alone."

Her eyes welled up. "Thank you."

"You don't need to thank me," he said, taking her hand in his. "I love you. I want to do it."

It was another hour before they were able to leave. They'd given her a dose of the pain medicine while she'd been waiting to get discharged and by the time she got into his jeep the pressure in her head seemed to be easing up. She was exhausted and wanted nothing more than to sleep.

"Do you mind if I wait here?" she asked as he pulled into his driveway.

"No, that's fine. I'll be right back."

He left the car running for her since it was cold out. She rested her head against the headrest and closed her eyes. It suddenly dawned on her that she needed to call her parents. A feeling of dread washed over her.

How was she going to tell them? She knew they would be devastated. She knew they would worry, knew they would want to be on the next plane to Brooklyn. She hadn't fully come to terms with it herself and she didn't want them hovering over her.

She debated on waiting to tell them until after she knew exactly what she was dealing with. But she couldn't do that. They would want to know as soon as possible. It was late. She would wait until the morning to call them.

Brian was back outside within five minutes.

"I know you're tired, but I think you should get your prescription filled now. You're going to need it. At this hour it probably won't take very long. Is there a twenty-four hour pharmacy near your apartment?"

"Yeah, there's a CVS a few blocks away. I've been there before."

"Ok. We'll do that then stop and pick up some food to take home."

"I'm not hungry."

"Sweetheart, you have to eat something."

She sighed. "Alright."

It was a little after midnight by the time they reached her apartment. They were greeted by the cats the second the door was open.

"Go sit down on the couch," he told her as he shut the door. "I'll take care of the cats and bring you food."

She shuffled into the living room and dropped her coat on the chair before plopping down on the couch. She kicked her shoes off and shoved them under the coffee table. A minute later Brian came in with two plates, two bottles of iced tea and the bag of food.

She ate about half of it before proclaiming she was full.

"I just want to go to bed. I'm so tired."

"You go change your clothes and I'll clean this up. Then I'll be right in."

He kissed the top of her head as he stood and gathered up everything. She went into the bathroom and brushed her teeth, then went to her bedroom and changed into a pair of pajamas. She crawled under the covers and let out a deep breath. It felt good to lay down in her own bed.

Brian stripped down to his boxers and climbed into bed next to her. He moved next to her and put an arm around her.

"I love you," he said.

"I love you, too."

"You're going to get through this. And you won't have to do it alone. I'll be there with you every step of the way."

"Thank you. I don't know what I'd do without you."

"You won't have to find out. I promise."

He stroked her hair softly until she fell asleep minutes later.

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