Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Breaking the "Big C" News: To Me

Ever since the extraordinary egret sighting in July, I have continued to seek any indication that this is other than what I think it is (a contained, non-invasive abnormality). I have a deck of divination cards which I am trained to use, and draw after draw during these two months has been not only unfailingly positive but exceptionally so. My dear friend who is energetically gifted has the same sense. All signs point to a positive outcome. 

Indeed, I am confident enough that I urge my husband to go out of town with his friends for a previously scheduled 3-day golfing opportunity. I will go alone to get the pathology results. 

The night before that appointment I weep again and feel profoundly lonely. I cannot reconcile this experience with all the positive signs, any more than I can reconcile my sobbing before surgery and again on the night after surgery while on my deck where I often go after dark to contemplate the spirituality of my day. 

And now I cannot find an upbeat note to hang onto while waiting the hour before my doctor comes in to talk to me. 

“How did you do after the surgery?” she asks. “Just give me the results,” I respond.  She gives it to me straight, unvarnished, but not without compassion. It is bladder cancer of a very, very rare and very aggressive type and it has just begun to invade the wall of your bladder. This will mean chemotherapy before an extensive surgery. 

What?! Despite my episodes of foreboding, I have clung more strongly to the indications that this will be okay, so I am nonplussed. (I weigh too much to have been knocked over with a proverbial feather.)

The nurse who works with my urologist sits very close to me, leans in toward me, touches me, all of which comfort me. Nonetheless I express my surprise and feel my emotions well up. They stay with me and allow my emotions, my tears, my comments, my questions. I have the luxury of as much time as I need with them. I feel their caring, and I feel safe with them. They allow me to choose an oncologist among four, and give me an article about my cancer, urging me not to look up more on the internet. I trust them and so I don’t. The article is up-to-date and mirrors my doctor’s statements.

John is far away but is expecting my call. He is silent with the news but I intuit his reaction. He asks if he should come home. I hesitate. I want him to enjoy his friends, one of whom he rarely sees and just recovered from prostate cancer. “Yes,” I reply. He is back at the airport in jig time for a 5:00 PM arrival back home. Knowing he will be with me within hours gives me the strength I need to gather myself together and get myself home. 

The valet is from England and I mistake his accent for Australian since my new son-in-law’s accent is Australian with shades of British. He gives me special attention and cheer as he helps me into my car. Every little bit helps, and I consider him a blessing.

© Jean DiMotto, 2011

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