Yesterday, I drove home from my appointment, in just a wee bit of shock I think. I was hoping to hear words like 'it's nothing', and come home and feel a little foolish, but very relieved. When the radiologist came in to tell me what he thought, he asked if I had any questions. "Not right this minute," I said, "but can you give me your phone number, because I can guarandamntee you that I'll have a number of them about midnight or so." He burst out laughing and said, "That is an easy one. The answer is no." I responded with, "Now, surely the nice mammogram lady told you about my meltdown in the Lowe's parking lot just last night?" The nice mammogram lady told him that 'the girls' had a new name for him, and it was 'insensitive ass'. He looked confused, but we explained, and we all laughed, as he cheerfully pled 'guilty'. I leaned in to tell her that if she needed any epithets, I was the girl to call, because I was creative that way. (How strange to be laughing and joking when I felt as if the bottom was dropping out of my world.)
I walked out of the hospital, got into my little car and drove home in the rain. I knew that my own physician would be calling. I couldn't bear to go back to work. Since I don't get cell phone service back in the woods, I called their office to let them know to call me at our home phone. To get sympathetic reassurances from the receptionist was almost more than I could stand. We are great laughers and I don't think we've said a serious word to one another in all the years I've gone to this practice. Gina called. The surgeon called. Gina called again. The phone got quiet.
Tim said, "Do you want to watch a movie? Why don't you come and sit down? We'll watch a little TV." He picked up the remote, and Oprah's voice came into our living room. She announced that 'today (x-number) of women would learn that they had breast cancer.'
Later, while I was reading about biopsies, the phone rang again. It was the 'Breast Cancer Relief Fund', asking for a donation.
And even though I don't consider myself a superstitious person, I cannot shake this sense that events in my own life are being foreshadowed. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
I am aware.
It was time to call in the big guns. I did the only reasonable thing. I got a bottle of wine, and I got a wine glass. I poured myself a tall glass, and then I sat down to call my friend, my stalwart, hilarious friend Dixie in Philadelphia. I drink my wine, and we alternate between laughing and weeping, just a little, because after all, I know nothing for sure. But Dixie hears me say the words out loud for the first time. "Dix," I say, "I've just got this growing certainty in my heart. I think that I'm going to hear that I have cancer." Dixie says softly, right back, "Maybe. Maybe you're right, but there are all kinds of success stories. Most people survive it." And then she is laughing again. Her priest's wife went for her biopsy today. And another woman from their church just finished chemo. She considers her church experts in praying about this particular matter. She will get my ta-tas to the prayer chain. And I'm laughing too. I'm a real lightweight when it comes to drinking, but I pour myself a second glass of wine, and I laugh with my friend.