Excerpt from Chapter Fourteen – “THE DECISION”

Seven Days to Love by Robert Daviau

Excerpt from Chapter Fourteen – “THE DECISION”:

After a few hours, Lance had made his decision. Vicki had
left him no real choice, and Dr. Carbone had not been
encouraging. Some would endure a wheelchair and other disabilities
over death. Lance certainly would not, and it was clear
that Vicki wanted no part of it either. God may intervene and save
her, but it would have to be Him. Lance was not going to tell
Vicki what she should do. Had Vicki given him more of a choice,
he would have opted for the shunt, but her instructions, and the
effort that she had undergone to issue them, left no doubt.

Lance imagined the guilt he would feel if she were shunted
and the results were catastrophic. A woman who loved him
might turn to hate him, and he might hate her. They had had
seven magical days together, and without divine intervention,
no more were coming.

Excerpt from Chapter Thirteen – “THE TEST OF LOVE”

Seven Days to Love by Robert Daviau

Excerpt from Chapter Thirteen – “THE TEST OF LOVE”:

The wait until four was of no significance. Nothing was
going to change for the good. Vicki was not going to
make a remarkable recovery, and there was going to be no
magic out for Lance. Vicki had seen to it that someone who
truly loved her would be given the shunt decision, and she
had seen to it that Lance loved her. They had enjoyed their
seven days of love, but now it was truly over. Lance was faced
with the reality that Vicki had prepared. They had had a wonderful
time.

Lance thought lovingly of the week they had enjoyed. She
had made him feel unlike any other, and there was not going
to be another. Down the hall and near death was Vicki. He
would pay anything to have her back, but miracles are not
bought.

Her instructions had been clear and unequivocal. Lance
hoped that there would be minimal permanent impairment.
Vicki with a limp was doable, although forbidden by Vicki’s
instruction, but the degree of permanency projected by Doctor
Carbone gave little choice. To pull the plug on someone he
loved, as he did Vicki, was not easy for Lance. Death is permanent
and unforgiving, but survival always gives chances.

Excerpt from Chapter Twelve – “SURGERY”

Seven Days to Love by Robert Daviau

Excerpt from Chapter Twelve – “SURGERY”:

Lance had been told that the surgery would last about six
hours. Dr. Kantor had indicated that anything less than
two would mean the surgeons hadn’t dare touch the tumor,
guaranteeing Vicki certain death. Of course, six hours would
mean that the surgeons were going into vital places that might
lead to permanent damage. That thought terrorized Lance, as
it had Vicki.

Lance went to the cafeteria for a cup of coffee. It was not
decaf, and the last thing he needed was a stimulant. He read
all the magazines there—exactly two—and they were a year
old. He wondered why medical facilities could never afford
reading material for those in the waiting room.

Excerpt from Chapter Eleven – “TO THE HOSPITAL”

Seven Days to Love by Robert Daviau

Excerpt from Chapter Eleven – “TO THE HOSPITAL”:

Vicki was expectedly somber on the ride over to the hospital.
There was nothing more to say, by either. It was
not unlike the walk to the death chamber made by those on
death row. Lance was shaking, but he did not want Vicki to see
it. Vicki kept her sunglasses on, masking her tears. Their time
was about over.

They went, pursuant to instruction, to surgery admission.
Vicki was taken into a room by a nurse or assistant, and Lance
was shown to a waiting room that would become his hell over
the next few days. Vicki undressed and donned a johnny. An
anesthesiologist came in and gave her a much-needed sedative.
Lance was brought in. He and Vicki held hands, and then
the sedative took hold. Vicki started to babble.

Excerpt from Chapter Ten – “THE LAST SUPPER”

Seven Days to Love by Robert Daviau

Excerpt from Chapter Ten – “THE LAST SUPPER”:

There were no pre-surgery restrictions for Vicki, so they
ordered a bottle of wine for her and scotch for Lance.
They dined on chicken and rice, which room service delivered.
Lance certainly needed the scotch, and Vicki her wine. Finally,
during dinner, Lance got something off his chest. “I am certainly
not thinking you will go there, Vicki, but I had an out-ofbody
experience. I have seen death, and it was very pleasant.”

Vicki did not know that, and wanted to know every detail.

“Not very much to tell. I got hit in the neck by a hockey
stick while refereeing. It put pressure on my carotid artery,
which stopped my heart. I hit the floor and watched myself
being down. Something of me was drifting up, and I was
watching myself. I was leaving my body, and it was very peaceful.
For no reason, while the ambulance crew was tending to
me, my heart started to turn over and I decided to live—but it
wasn’t very much fun while my heart was beating ten beats per
minute.”

Excerpt from Chapter Nine – “THE DOCTOR VISIT”

Seven Days to Love by Robert Daviau

Excerpt from Chapter Nine – “THE DOCTOR VISIT”:

Dr. Phillip Kantor was a top-notch neurosurgeon. He
had surgeon’s rights at many hospitals, including
Aspen. He had been treating Vicki for a little over a year, and
her prognosis was not good. Basically, she had a very aggressive
brain tumor that had resisted chemo and radiation. He
had performed exploratory surgery a few months prior, but
left the tumor untouched. The tumor seemed to encroach on
parts of the brain which controlled basic functions of life. To
invade these areas surgically ran the clear risk of death or permanent
life-altering injury. He had had several consultations
with his colleagues, and all agreed.

He had last seen Vicki a month before and had gone over
her options. If nothing was done, she would surely die, and it
was impossible to know how death would arrive. In all likelihood,
death would be preceded by balance loss, extreme
headaches, loss of motor function, and, ultimately, organ failure.
Radical surgery, which was scheduled, was very risky, and
death in surgery was possible. More likely was brain damage,
leaving severe and permanent impairment to the patient. To
have a chance at life, Vicki had to be willing to risk being
gravely impaired and to face endless rehab.