boobs on ice, or something like that

I’m a day or two shy, give or take, of finding out what all this weirdness is going to mean. It’s been a struggle to get my words on both paper and screen this time around…I think the thoughts hit too close to the heart so I’m almost afraid to think or feel them, let alone solidify them by writing them down. I want the unknown to become known; and, comma, I’m also scared shitless about what the almost known is going to feel like when it becomes the for real known.

I don’t really know how to talk about it much at all. Three biopsies down and two more to go because there is, apparently, a lot of hide-and-seek going on in the breasticular area of my body. And the seeking keeps producing more “gotcha” little pussy hiding mother fuckers who can’t just step up and be who they are. They seem to act like finding them is akin to scoring the golden easter egg or the winning lottery ticket when in actuality it’s more like getting a D- on that chemistry test you were sure you had aced.

I feel stupid for sitting here and crying because I don’t even know what I’m crying about yet. I don’t know how to be scared or how to worry – those things just aren’t really part of my blueprint – but something tells me I should be inviting them both in for a visit, extended or not, so I’m trying. Tears beget more tears and then I can neither stop nor decipher exactly which facet of the last 7 days I am even crying about. Most likely it’s the dog hair and dust bunnies that the new bossy people around here won’t let me clean up. If they would just do it to my standards then I probably would have nothing at all to fret about. Maybe they purposely leave those crazy-making things there for me so I can perseverate on something other than what stage of cancer I most likely have.

Everyone in this house is their own version of scared right now. None of us are really talking about being scared, but actions speak louder than words and I have intuited much from our family interactions.

I can count on one hand the number of times my baby girl has laid her head on my lap in the 17 years I have known her. In the past 7 days, however, there is some gravitational force that consistently pulls her as close to me as she can physically, possibly get. And although neither of us is able to find the words that loom deep inside each of us, we know what we are saying to each other as her head rests on some part of my body and I caress her multi-colored teenage hair while inhaling the beauty of every fucking second. It is there and it is not. More importantly, we are here.

And then there’s my first born. The lord-knows-where-you-even-came-from kid who has always always exuded confidence expressing his words, thoughts, and feelings with a kind of grace that is typically only earned by octogenarians. Lately, the cat has got his tongue a bit, so I know he is processing through all the unknowns in his own way. The telltale signs from my baby bear are him not asking me to whip up some culinary delight he loves; not asking me to help find his keys and wallet (again); checking in with me multiple times just to say hi and see how I’m feeling. He has always greeted me with a morning hug, but they linger a tad longer and tighter now. We hold hands in silence together and we kinesthetically emote all we cannot presently say.

The glue stick. My husband, my rock, safe place…talk about giving new meaning to quaint little descriptors that sound like platitudes prior to undergoing an actual litmus test. What the hell do I even say about him and the fear he is feeling? We fall asleep holding hands. We wake multiple times each night in search of the interlocked fingers that keep us both safe. We re-intertwine and somehow doze off again until one of us wakes and cannot feel the other. And we panic until we are again holding on to the most beautiful thing we know.

He remains this pillar of fucking amazingness and I don’t think he has taken a breath for himself since this whole party started. I worry he is going to self combust. I know there are moments here and there that I have actually somehow fallen asleep, but I’m not sure I can say the same for him. His heartbreak is palpable to me and it makes me weak in the knees. It hurts me more to see him hurting than it does to feel the pain myself. His loyalty runs so deep that he can’t see that he even exists as a human being inside this hurricane that is our present state of collective minds.

I have no way to end this with some sort of witty closure. Presently, I have nothing left inside of me. I know it’s gonna be ok. I’m just fucking tired…and when has that ever proven to be anyone’s best representation of themselves?

Tomorrow is a new day. Thanks for listening.

day 3.5

So, I initially entitled this post “day 9.5”. Then I counted back, and reality was, umm, 3. Not even 3.5…just 3. Period.

I had to erase and correct, which means I had to also take ownership of some shit that’s been playing pinball inside my head.. like getting ahead of myself by 2/3rds or whatever it calculates out to (I suck at math and I make no excuses, I simply just hate it)…essentially thinking that 9 days had somehow happened in 3 days. 9 is my favorite number, so maybe it all just ties into that, but it is probably not worth discussing at this juncture.

I have no idea whether that is me trying to hold on to time, or rejecting time altogether…I likely won’t have closure on that for months. Most importantly, my rock is here with me in all this uncertainty of which is what; likely feeling the same distortion of time; stoically acting as though this is nothing he needs to lose his shit about…it’s totally fucking normal to learn your wife pretty much mostly has maybe possibly cancer.

I honestly don’t know who it sucks most for. I just know I feel like I am inflicting pain upon those I love because they are scared I might not be there for them to love any longer…but I will…we all just need some concrete information to work with. And it doesn’t matter who cries at which point. It’s gonna likely be ugly and messy for a while. And probably awkward. But that’s life, and these are the things that grow us.

It’s been so beautiful and loving…this weirdness of life…every fucking minute of it. Nobody cares any longer about dirty underpants or inefficiently cleaned up dog poo…we are just fucking happy to be here. and we’re not afraid to say it, or text it, or just hug the fuck out of it.

I stare at my husband now because he has finally passed out from the sheer exhaustion of worry. And I feel so grateful that I can bring him a cool washcloth or a glass of water because I don’t know when or whether that option will no longer be mine, and things I have no jurisdiction over will dictate the who, what, when, where, and why of every day existence.

Today’s silver lining is that we bought a new couch and recliner that will be delivered on Monday. Whether I am cancer + or -, we will have a livingroom that welcomes congregation, and if nobody has cancer then each placement of preference is totally up for grabs. At least that’s what I say now. And I have the right to change my mind at any time.

It can be hard to say the weird shit. We all feel the pain. Why does it have to be so weird anyways? It is what it is, right? You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.

I’m struggling in ways I didn’t even know I was capable of feeling struggle about. I’m trying to allow myself just a tad more space and breadth of acceptance that who I am is plenty fucking fine…and I’m equally completely amiss as to grasping any sort of grace that might help me navigate whatever this journey is going to prove itself to be.

I’m fucking scared. And I don’t really know how to be that version of myself to anyone in my life. I am and have been the warrior; there has never been any other option that I could see through my night vision goggles…fight until you’re exhausted, then pull your fucking bootstraps up and keep fighting…you don’t have the luxury of complacency.

But because of my husband and the essence of who he is, I’m trying to feel confidence in trust. I’m learning how to trust in trust. I am breathing because I trust. I understand that I can be scared and trust at the same time, and that we can be scared and trust together.

My words today come from the headspace I am currently stuck in, but they don’t define anything. They just are. They let me talk the only way I know how. They give me some level of humanity to myself. Or maybe some fucking sanity to just get it out of my head for a few hours whilst I call upon some welcome sleep.

We’re all fallible; we’re all beautiful. We all struggle with saying what our heart wants to say because our head gets in the way. What I have learned thus far on my who-the-fuck-knows-if-I-have-cancer-or-not journey is that we’re all scared. It doesn’t matter which bad-news-recipient you are – it all fucking sucks, and each and every one of us has our own way to work through it.

I glance at this man next to me, again, and I know I am wrapped in the biggest and best love that exists.

a new day

So it seems I have cancer. Suspiciousness enough weirdness on the annual mammogram to warrant every diagnostic tool and test possible. Rapidly scheduled follow up diagnostics and technicians who leave the room mid-imaging for periods of time that seem like eternity.

No small talk. No chit chat. Just the facts, ma’am, and quite frankly the facts don’t look good. But we can’t tell you that yet so we’re just gonna pretend like humans are not supposed to interact. What model was it along the way that decided healthcare sans humanity would provide benefit to anyone; patient or provider?

At the core of whatever it is we do to bring home a paycheck is the human quotient. The reason we survive is because we continually take turns picking each other up. I understand there are boundaries but I don’t understand how you stop seeing the human.

But I digress. Because what this started as was a knee high plod through a pre- cancer diagnosis. It’s just that the days that drag out into the final knowing can make you fucking crazy, so you spin and sway a bit and maybe find yourself questioning whether you are who you have believed yourself to be. And I think I have finally landed on a peace with it all. Regardless the news I get next week, I’ve already been given a plethora of gifts. I’m already grateful.

I know what it is even though I haven’t officially been told what it is. It doesn’t really take much to read into the nuances of interactions with medical staff when they don’t know how to say what they’re not sure they can tell you.

And then there’s google to make you completely batshit crazy in the days that loom between the onslaught of tests and the words that will finally offer you peace; whichever piece they present you.

In summary of tonight’s rambling thoughts…

I may or may not have cancer.

It seems to be pointing nearer to yes than no.

Either way I win. I have already grown exponentially as a human.