I am in the middle of my second breast cancer scare. Last year at this time, I was going through numerous tests, mammograms, ultrasounds, and visits to specialists. There were the phone calls, “Well we didn’t find anything, but we want you to get another test.” There was the waiting. There was my heart that races the speed of a marathon runner whenever I enter a doctor’s office. Again, there was the waiting.
In the midst of all of that, and again today, I think about dying. Mostly I think about my husband. What will our bed look like if I no longer take the right half? He jokingly asks me often, “What do you do while you sleep to get the bedcovers to look like that? It’s a mess. They are all twisted.” If I die, will he wake to a bed that only needs a little adjusting to be perfectly made?
The hole that either of our absences would leave in this house is like a crater – it couldn’t be walked around, it couldn’t be ignored, it would be unavoidable, and all consuming. The edges would be where the rest of our life was hanging, hanging over an opening that would threaten to swallow the one left behind. Swallow? How would either of us eat again after sharing all our dinners at the little table built for two?
I told my husband yesterday, that if I have cancer, and I am dying, that it isn’t all bad. “I want to die before you,” I said. “What?” He asked. “That is so selfish. Okay, you can die before me, but not now. Not this young. I want to retire. I want to go places. I have plans. No, you can’t die this young. Not now.” Continue Reading…