Six weeks ago, I thought I was dying. I was suffering from a white hot pain so excruciating that I was absolutely convinced my appendix was rupturing. Was, in fact, minutes from exploding and sending me off to meet my maker.
One four hour ER visit and $5000 later, I found out that I couldn’t be more wrong. Nope, the source of all that ridiculous pain was just my ovary’s new little friend – a tiny little cyst that had claimed squatting rights on its side.
For a moment, I was relieved. After all, a cyst sounds pretty harmless, right? But then my doctors had to go and ruin it by telling me that my ovary’s friend could be cancerous.
Yep, that’s right. They put the word cancer out into the universe. They were almost absolutely certain that it was most likely nothing to be worried about – but they were worried, nonetheless.
So they sent me for blood tests. Blood tests to find out if I had cancer. Blood tests that, when they came back, were frighteningly inconclusive. I most likely didn’t have cancer, but then again, I might. But, my doctors assured me, I shouldn’t be worried. I should just forget I’d ever heard the word cancer, because I probably didn’t have it.
Which is, of course, exactly what I did.
I forgot that my body was possibly under attack. That my ovary’s little friend could have invited its entire family to move in. That, depending on what the next round of tests turned up, my life could be turned upside down, filled with surgery and chemo and bone-chilling fear.
Yep. That’s exactly what I did.
I certainly didn’t lie awake at night, wondering what it feels like to die. I didn’t wonder if it was too late to get religion – and if the powers that be would forgive me for my transgressions.
I didn’t worry about what would happen to my family if I died. I didn’t think about my baby girl growing up without me, or about Brian having to cope with single parenthood, or about my mom and dad having to bury their youngest child.
Nope, I didn’t worry. Not one little bit.
So, because I wasn’t the least bit concerned, I didn’t get half-drunk on Thursday night, just so I wouldn’t have to think about the next day’s appointment. I didn’t wake up feeling sick to my stomach, or down half a bottle of pepto bismol for breakfast. I certainly didn’t spend my working hours staring vacantly at my computer screen, sending up half-formed prayers.
I didn’t hold my breath all through the ultrasound, or almost break down sobbing when the test revealed what I already knew – that my ovary’s friend was still there. I didn’t almost puke when I was sent back out to the lobby to wait for the doctor’s verdict.
And when my doctor told me that it wasn’t cancer? That it was just a weird cyst that had to come out – but a decidedly non-malignant one? I didn’t make him repeat himself ten times, or have to pinch myself to resist the urge to jump off the table (half naked or no) and hug him.
Nope, that wasn’t me. And if you believe all that? I’ve got some directions to a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow somewhere to the left of sunrise…
I don’t have cancer. I do have to have surgery, but I don’t have cancer. The idea of surgery, which would normally scare the shit out of me, has never sounded less worrisome than it does right at this moment. Because I don’t have cancer. You hear that? I don’t have cancer (if I repeat that enough, I’m sure I’ll start to believe it).
And because I don’t have cancer? I’m not getting anywhere near the scale this week. I. Just. Don’t. Care. My body isn’t killing me. So it can be just as fat as it wants to.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go hug my baby (the one I get to see grow up) and kiss my husband (the one I get to see all old and wrinkly) another time or five hundred.
But don’t worry. The regularly scheduled weigh-ins will resume next week. After all, my skinny jeans are waiting to celebrate my cancer-free status with me.