A week and a half ago, some cloudiness on my annual mammogram triggered two more mammograms, an ultrasound and a core needle biopsy. With our recent and plentiful family history of breast cancer, this was worrisome. However, my time-honored strategy of dealing with problems on a strictly intellectual level and forcing my emotions into a long but fitful nap served me well. Really, what had changed? Except for some bruising from the biopsy I was exactly the same as I had been the blissfully ignorant week before. Being aware of a potential problem without verification is really, bottom line, an exercise in stress management. Try to save the panic for later, focus on breathing now.
Over the weekend after the biopsy (but before the results) I packed for a trip to my younger sister’s to help look after her boys (with our other sister) for a couple of days, prepared my house as well as I could for a bunch of impending company (Mr. Wordtabulous’ cousin was getting married the following weekend and we would need place for five additional beloved people to sleep,) and rode that mental teeter-totter that goes, “I am in trouble; I am absolutely fine.” Regardless of what the results turned out to be, I knew that I was fine. I have everything I need and I was (and am) grateful for that. Still, it was wearing. Due to a technological black hole and some phone battery issues, it took the nurse two days and eight tries to reach me (they don’t leave messages,) to tell me all is well, which (even though I knew I was fine,) was still a relief to hear.
My time with the nephews was wonderful, and spending time this past weekend with Mr. W’s family was just as much so. At the dance after Becky and Brandon’s wedding I watched people gather, hug, eat and laugh. But not everything was awesome. Beneath the celebration there was heartache: for the passage of time, for loved ones departed, for one of our shining stars who is waging war on cancer. I felt the surge of emotional riptides. Out on the dance floor tiny girls in party dresses spun and hopped with mommies and daddies, next to luminous young women I first knew as tiny girls twenty years ago, next to teenage youth surrounded by people who have loved them their whole lives. Aunts and uncles and parents, new loves and long-time marrieds were out there. People facing crumbling marriages, homesickness, illness, disappointment and loss abandoned their cares and joined in. Survivors of those very same challenges turned and stepped in rhythm and in joy, reminding us that the dance isn’t just for the one moment, celebrating the vows we had witnessed a few hours before. The dance is the celebration of the enduring hope and love that makes us powerful in the face of pain, love that extends generations into the past and into the future.
Thank you, all of you made beautiful in your love and struggle, for the dance.
That was so beautiful! You are a great writer.
Super glad everything was okay with your tests. 🙂
Thank you! I have been meaning to comment on one of your posts, about your newest kindergartener from weeks ago, also so, so beautiful. And yes, yay! (on the test results 🙂 )
So glad the news was good for you. Lovely post.
I share Carrie’s sentiments.
Officially Le Clown’s straightest comment. Ever.
I am honored, and thank you!
Thank you, and congratulations on your book release! The Seneca Scourge is on my to-read list, on the VIP fast-track.
Well, thank you. That is lovely to hear, especially since you have your hands full. I hope you enjoy the book. I guess you’ll need some indoor activity for when that Minnesota winter hits you. 🙂 (Remember, I grew up in the North Dakota “warmth.”)
I have tears in my eyes as I read your post. Beautifully written and poinient. Love you for all you are and for how you share.
Aww! You are so sweet, thanks for loving!
Beautiful post! I am so happy your tests were clear. Rejoice!!!
Thank you! And I am rejoicing!
And congratulations on completing chemo!!!
Beautifully written! Truly life (and I have a pretty good vantage point on the stages) is a dance, a weaving of a tapestry that can only be deemed beautiful when we get to the place we can view it in completion from the ‘other side’! Love you–