Not to be dramatic, but tonight is my last night before becoming an oncology patient. I have all the phone numbers ready, insurance plan figured out, and I'll be making an appointment in the morning.
As far as I know, I don't have cancer at this very moment. But I did 2 months ago...before I had my appendix removed. The doctor called last week with the pathology report. There was a carcinoid tumor in my appendix.
I haven't been able to write about it because I feel as though I should have a way to wrap my post up neatly somehow, like a little package with a bow on top. I can't wrap this one up. I can't even get my brain around it. I know who I am and who I have been called to be. And I'll just keep living those things.
I feel as though my world has tilted. I'm suddenly thinking a lot more about making the most of each moment, recognizing each day as the gift that it is...being grateful for love, for my family, for good food, soft clothes, the fireplace in my living room, and biodegradable soap. I don't know why those things in particular right now.
You see, we already had one near-miss last week. Mango was in a car accident that totaled our car. He kept apologizing, though it wasn't his fault, and I kept telling him that I'm just so grateful to have him here. I wouldn't care if it was his fault. I just want him here. I cannot get enough of him, being near him, hearing his voice, holding his hand, sleeping next to his warm self. Last night we made a fire and lay on a sleeping bag on the living room floor, just chatting and laughing and reading a little together. What I wouldn't give for the rest of my life to look like that.
The news about the tumor came the day after the car accident, the day we bought a new car (a minivan, by the way, but that's another story). We felt grateful for both of our near-misses. The tumor would have grown and it would have been too late if it hadn't been for the appendicitis. And maybe the appendicitis was God's way of telling us that it wasn't an ulcer. You see, the symptoms of a carcinoid tumor look an awful lot like an ulcer. If we'd kept treating it as an ulcer, we still wouldn't have found the tumor. The appendicitis saved me. Ironic, huh?
In any case, my dear, sweet Mango is here with me still. And I with him. And we are blessed to have Mane and Vespera and Niteo, our children, all three here with us in our snug house. We have been given much.
I'm still afraid. And I'm angry and frustrated and tired. But I'm hopeful, too. And not despairing. This is what life on the edge is always about...living with ambiguity, never getting too comfortable. It keeps me grateful, keeps me in the moment. Uncomfortable. Exhausted.
That's it. No neat wrapping paper or pretty bows.