I spent my childhood on beaches, and consequently in the offices of dermatologists. They always resulted in a phone call where the doctor ended her sentence with the word "benign". Yesterday her sentence ended with the word "melanoma". And it was a mack truck, complete with headlights and sirens. And there were words after that one, like "borderline" and "surgery" and "lymph nodes". And I couldn't hear the ones in between because my throat was swelling. And I was concentrating really hard on handling it like my sterile white-cloaked doctor. As if life is all about information and action plans.
But all I could think about was checking my kids out of school so I could hug them.
And then she hung up. And I sat with the dumped word in my lap, quietly. The Uncomfortable Silence Of Waiting. And the painful realizing that lots of the pieces of your life and your story cannot be controlled. And while some days are about fighting, and creating, and doing. Other days are about helplessly waiting. It's the suspended anticipation between a fist and a face. I hate those moments.
And so I freaked out. I cancelled appointments. I scared the shit out of myself on WebMD. And then my awesome, amazing friends and family filled in the space between facts and hysteria.
And after processing the information, I'm feeling much better. As it stands, it has progressed JUST enough for me to need surgery. And I think they are mostly checking the lymph nodes as a precautionary measure. And while I have all kinds of reasons to be hopeful, I'm still seriously pissed that my first surgery was not for new boobs. :)
All kidding aside, I've even had time to become a little grateful for this moment that stunned me into realizing how fragile it all is. These lives we work on, and count on, are precarious. Enjoy everything now. And WEAR SUNSCREEN. :)