Dr. Raja Flores is a world renowned thoracic surgeon and the only doctor who was willing to operate on Emily once it was determined the cancer had moved into the lining of her lung.
On the day after surgery, once Emily was sitting up and more alert, Dr. Flores told her more about her successful operation. He was pleased with how clean everything looked once the affected body parts were removed, and gave Emily great pride when re-living how difficult it was to cut through her strong lateral muscles (not a surprise to anyone who has seen her throw a football). He said that because of her strength, they are able to throw a lot of harsh medicine at her, and she will withstand it and recover. “My part was easy,” he told the family, “now Emily needs to be a warrior. Don’t worry about the weekend or the blizzard. I will be here Saturday and Sunday, even if I have to wear snow shoes to get to the hospital.”
Miles exited with Dr. Flores to ask a question he did not want to ask in front of Emily: Was she NED (medical acronym for No Evidence of Disease)?
Dr. Flores responded that she is in fact now N.E.D., and that he personally wanted to go back in and tell her himself. It was an emotional moment when he knelt down, put his hand on Emily’s knee, and told her that she had finally achieved her elusive goal: “N.E.D.”
Before going to sleep that night, with the lights out, Miles sat beside Emily on the bed. Holding hands, they looked back on the past seven months and the path that led to Dr. Flores. She sighed, “I love that man.”
As Emily drifted off, she smiled and said, “Miles…This is the best day of my life.”
Enjoy this video of Emily rockin’ it on day two post-surgery. Dr Flores may have taken her lung, but certainly not her attitude 🙂