I always imagined that there would be a giant oak desk. A massive, work of art, of a desk with the smell of leather and an undercurrent of terror in the room. I imagined I'd be sitting in a rather uncomfortable wooden chair, with arms rubbed shiny from the worried hands of those who had come before me, and I'd be clutching to Randy like an old lady clutches her purse. And the benevolent Doctor, sitting across from me, but with a very compassionate look on his face, would say, "I'm sorry. It's cancer." Then the wailing would begin and never end, because it would mean I was dying and we'd have to tell my children.
I could never see the vision past telling my children but that doctor sure was good looking.
Well, this isn't how it went down for me. Standing in a business, contracted to provide henna and glitter tattoos to squealing and giggling little girls and boys, my phone rings. "I'm sorry," I say to the person I'm talking with, "I have to take this."
I look at the caller ID and my guts start to churn when I see it's not my doctor but my aunt calling, to see if I've heard anything yet. Suddenly I feel this urgent need to poop because adrenaline is rushing through me and fight is not an option, but flight is starting to sound really good! A moment later my phone rings again and I take a deep breath when I see it is the clinic and I say, "Hello?"
Strangely I usually pop right out of my body when I enter into a situation like this but this time I am fully in my body. I hear every word she says. I respond calmly. I hang up.
"Hi Kristina, I have your results right here. Okay, so what we have is a (compassionate and non-annoying pause), papillary carcinoma, which-"
"Is cancer, I know." I interrupt. It's my cancer, I'll say it first.
"It is, yes, and I just want you to know that this type of cancer is..." and she goes on about what I already know, how highly common this type of cancer is, and super, easily treatable it is. How if you had to pick a cancer to have, this is the one to choose, and I say, "I know. Thank you."
She sounds a little confused that I am not crying, I am just listening and answering her questions and that's it. The ground is still firm beneath me. I still feel the phone in my hands. "Do you... have any questions?"
"I really don't, I'm good, thank you." I feel like a drone, I want to be polite and I also want to get the fuck off this phone so I can figure out if I am going to fall apart in front of all these children or not.
"Wow, this is the easiest time I've ever had giving someone this news. Are you sure you're okay?" Yes, I am. Thank you. I'll follow up with my doc, yes. If I have questions, I know who to call, thank you, yes, have a good day.
I hang up the phone and I feel my Spirit suddenly sit down on the chair. My body is standing but my Spirit has sucked in its breath, detached itself from me and is sitting down, reeling from the news.
My body walks over to the organizer who fortunately is a friend and a gracious, lovely woman, and I say, "I have to go. I'm sorry." I don't explain further, I get her blessing and I pack up and I grab my daughter and we hustle out to the car so I can call (everyoneintheworld) my husband and tell him what is happening to us now. Now that cancer is in our house.
I call Randy and we sit on the phone- stunned silence. But no freaking out, or panic. Just more like... woah. So we talk about it a bit and he says, "Do you need me to come home?" I say no, I have too much to do today. What are we going to do, sit on the couch and stare at each other?
So what is there to do? I have to drive up to my mother's house which isn't the safest (emotionally) place for me to be, especially when I'm this vulnerable. Am I vulnerable? I actually check in with myself and I say out loud, "I have cancer."
And I start laughing.
It's too funny. I mean seriously- CANCER? *I* have cancer. ME. That is just... the most ludicrous thing that could ever be true. It's ridiculous.
I text my friends and I feel like I can't explain thoroughly how absolutely hilarious this situation is, so when I hear, "I'm so sorry!" I can't help but think, "Why? What did you do?"
I drop off my mom and I finally have a moment alone with it (well, as alone as any mother of a little kid is) and I start to feel it rise up in me. And what I'm craving is some really loud, happy music so I load one up (Love Song, by Sarah Barreilles if you're curious) and I just sing that shit as LOUD as I possibly can.
There's really nothing else to do but sing. And I start laughing again because I think, maybe this surgery will help my singing voice? It is currently abysmal.