I found out that I had breast cancer three days ago but it feels like I have been dealing with it for weeks. Hopefully it’s not a foretaste of my inability to deal with the tough stuff that is still yet to come.
After all I haven’t had a mastectomy yet, chemo yet, radiation yet, the good or bad news about what stage of cancer this is and or whether it is aggressive or not or whether “the horse has left the barn” (the surgeon’s metaphor for cancer metastasizing (I will never again look at a horse in a barn with an Andrew Wyeth painting in mind)) or nausea, fatigue, hairlessness, insomnia, bloating, weight loss or weight gain, hot flashes, shunts , neuropathy. Oh my, this list is a flash back of a 6 year old OCD Dona who thought that if she named every known monster, calamity, illness and scary thing in her prayers without missing a single one, then and only then, would she be protected. Well, it doesn’t work that way so I will resist the listing of all possible harsh realities including the big one and instead think seriously why it feels like so much of life has happened since finding out I had cancer.
I have to say it again, “I have cancer”. Wow, it is so weird to put the most personal of all personal pronouns to the word cancer “I” have cancer. It is scary but also awesome in some strange way. I am a Christian so among other things I number with those who sometimes think they have answers to these sort of things but really have doubts that what they are saying, they really, really believe. But that reality doesn’t keep me from walking through the grocery store with my husband after leaving the Cancer hospital acting like I’m just looking for groceries with my right hand balled up when in fact I am literally imagining Jesus holding that hand, letting me know that I am not without Him. And so any blog entry will have Him in mind even if he is not always mentioned and when I am not typing I will have my hand balled up literally and/ or metaphorically reminding me that he is with me. This is all I can hope to know right now. And this is a lot if you really think about it.