One More Night

Apparently it’s a thing to have the first big cry at the one week mark. Well it’s a thing for me anyway. I was appropriately unhappy with the diagnosis and have had short “spells” (eye roll) of anxiety, but no tears. I knew it was a sort of denial. But I guess one doesn’t know how thick the denial is until being faced with the cold, hard truth. Tomorrow is my appointment with the surgeon. (I politely badgered the receptionist until they found me an earlier appointment.) Even before having my own first-hand experience, I knew that surgery would be a given in this situation. I hadn’t felt nervous about the appointment. But tomorrow I meet the woman who will be hacking (with utmost respect for her skill and finesse) Bob out of my body. My breast. And she’ll probably take the other breast with it. Because I AM OVER LUMPS.

Also, tonight was the night I was supposed to go to my first support group meeting. One realm of my psyche was all on board. I knew it would be a good thing. I would learn what to expect from my first appointment and what questions I should ask. But an equivalent part of me felt with certainty that I did not belong there. I would be a poser. I know they told me I have breast cancer and I believe them, but I am not one of those women. I would be an intruder on their hallowed ground. And yet another facet of my mind knew full well that I simply DID NOT WANT TO FACE THE REALITY. I had one more night, damnit. One more night to be the the person I was before I became the person with cancer. I didn’t want to spend that evening with women who were suffering or bald or putting on their brave face and sharing their benevolent advice with me. (Instead, it turns out, I spent the evening in the fetal position, drinking wine in bed.)

The timing on all this is super inconvenient, by the way. Tomorrow also happens to be the day before Thanksgiving. In my optimistic denial state, I committed to making a few dishes for the big dinner we will be attending with my in-laws four hours away. And I’m getting the feeling that my Christmas present will be the least fun type of boob job ever. But, as I was weeping, my husband held me tight and first said, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry you have cancer.” [I weep harder.] And then, “You know no one will be upset if we don’t show up with a raw vegan pumpkin pie.” [I guffaw juicily through tears and snot.] He is so right.

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