(Thank you for the beautiful cards Nancy and Susan, and the letter and quote that resonated so deeply with me, Nancy)
The call came Tuesday. I was surprised to see the clinic number pop up on the screen of my phone. Less than 24 hours after the scan, someone was calling. I was further surprised to hear the voice of Dr. Panwalkar's nurse, Andrea, on the other end. We got past the pleasantries and she took a big breath and in one big exhale said. "Dr. Panwalkar wanted me to call you. He said you can stop taking your Tamoxifen."
And I wait, holding my breath in the pause of her voice, steadying myself for the rest of the message. But nothing is forthcoming and now my mind steps up.
"Okay... is Dr. P going to call me? About the results of my test?"
"Actually," she says very hurriedly, "he'd like to see you when he gets back from vacation to talk about treatment options and wants to know if 945 am on March 5th will work?"
I'm rushing now, to see the calendar, because nothing is adding up and maybe some sense will return if I see the solidity of the dates.
But no, my hands shake as I flip the page of the calendar and realize, he doesn't want to see me for TWO WEEKS.
"Wait, what?" I stammer, "he isn't going to call me?"
"No," she says, and her voice is now as hesitant and uncertain as mine.
She mutters, "I knew you were going to ask, and I even told him, and he just said "She will know what I mean because I am taking her off the Tamoxifen. She'll know."
"But, can you just tell me..." Another big sigh, and she is searching for words...
And I hear how hard this is for Andrea in her voice and suddenly I know I need to not question her anymore. She is just the reluctant messenger of a big message that both will speak volumes, and not say very much at all, at the same time.
I make 6 calls to Rick, knowing he is in a meeting. He calls me an hour later~ and I can articulate to him that I really just need to vent as I am honestly royally ticked off.
He listens quietly as I pour out the what if's and how come's and oh no's and... and I slowly lose steam.
"What am I meant to learn?" That is really the question, I ask him, isn't it?
Then he quietly suggests, that maybe I just need to remember. My history with Dr. P has been one of confidence, of trust. That he has proven to be kind and compassionate and smart. He wouldn't leave you"hanging" if he didn't think you'd be okay. He trusts that you will handle this as you've always handled this.
Superman settles me down a bit. The voice of reason, a kryptonite to my irrational, fear mongering inner voice.
Later Tuesday night, I glimpse the new book beckoning me from my nightstand. It's Anne Lamott's "Help Thanks Wow," The Three Essential Prayers."
I begin to drink in her words. They speak to my heart, as if they were written just for me, right now.
Page 44., It is easy to thank God for life when things are going well. But life is bigger than we give it credit for, and much of the time its harder than we would like... Sometimes our mouths sag open with exhaustion, and our souls and minds too, with defeat, and that saggy opening is what we needed all along. Any opening leads to the chance of flow, which is sometimes the best we can hope for and a minor miracle at that, open and fascinated, instead of tense and scared and shut down...
Over these past few days, I've been processing and praying and perspective gathering.
Maybe I am still afraid of the storms, but I am learning... to sail, to stay open, to hope... to have just enough encouragement for today... and to always let gratitude prevail at the end of each day.
(Big weekend of hockey for us- will be back with lots of hockey to share.)