I am almost three years cancer-free now, and I had gotten used to good news. Yesterday, I had to face unpleasant news again. I’m going to have a bone biopsy in a couple weeks. I think . . . I think I’ll stop having “worst fears”, because I’m really tired of their coming true. Cancer was a big one. And somewhere alongside of that was a deathly fear of the bone being involved. I blame this fear on an episode of Highway to Heaven I saw once. But then, that is also the episode in which I learned the song Boom-Chicka-Boom, so it wasn’t all bad.
Of course, this isn’t necessarily cancer. In fact, it’s really likely that it’s not. But facing the fact that it might be has sort of cleared away the monotony fog that was covering the blue skies feeling that I’ve had ever since getting free of cancer the first time. For me, there has been nothing like that happiness. Permeating everything was the thrill that at least I was there to see it – whatever it was. This feeling hadn’t faded much. Hardly at all, I had thought.
When I got the call about the bone biopsy, I cried. And my heart dropped directly into my stomach, which is a total cliche, but it became a cliche because it fits the feeling SO WELL. And I felt scared and horrified.
But since the bad news, in between the moments of despair, I feel intensely, deeply happy. It’s like – I remember this feeling. The feeling that every single moment of every single day is an amazing gift. Plus, all the lessons I learned the first time? They won’t leave me alone. It’s like my children are screaming them as they run through the house blissfully unaware that cancer is anything to fear. The loudest one is this: No matter what they tell me that day about the biopsy, that news can’t have today. No matter how difficult the recovery is, it doesn’t have today either. Cancer doesn’t have today. Whatever trouble is ahead, it doesn’t have today, unless I let it.
Of course, I may need reminded of this later. In the meantime – there’s always today.