Saturday, 5 June 2010
Dave drove off the other day and I looked down and noticed mushrooms cheekily growing where he always parks his car. I kicked them with my foot, and got most of them out except the main part of one that was burrowed deep in the cracks of the wood. Dave has had so much reflux and a few pains the last months .... he was on his way down to get a scan for the first time in 18 months. I couldn't get the piece of mushroom out. I hate things growing where you don't expect. I hate finding cobwebs all over my ceilings and looking across the room to find the whole room has been littered with cobwebs all this time and how could anyone not have noticed before?
I worried about not getting that last piece of mushroom out. Maybe Dave would get his cancer back because I couldn't get the mushroom.
Wonder if I can get my Catholic guilt recognized as a disability? I have a gift for making everything my fault.
I told Dave to tell the doctor about his pains and reflux and feeling sick. He got angry with me. "You'll attract it! Stop thinking that!"
I told Dave that I do NOT want to attract his cancer back, but I know what he's like. "Mate I have an appointment at the skin cancer clinic next week. I'm not attracting melanoma, but I have fair skin and need to be careful. I need a pap smear - you know ovarian cancer runs in my family. I need to be careful. All I'm saying is, tell the doc the truth. Or I will ring him myself."
The doctor ordered the exact same scan that Dave had a little over two years ago, where he drank all the yucky stuff first.
I spent the day at home with Rocco, utterly frozen. In our pjamas all day, eating lunch off the same plate, playing with his toys. Rocco had a ball, I was paralysed by a heavy that was too familiar.
Dave rang me afterwards, told me that "if it's bad news, the doc will ring. Either today or in a few weeks."
I couldn't wait that long, no way no how. This whole past week has been hard. I've been manic and inappropriate, the what-ifs lurking in the dark. Where the mushrooms grow.
I went to see SATC2 with some cool mums from school. It was rainy and late and I had a headache but I needed to get out of the house and eat chocolate and laugh. The film was surprisingly good, definitely appealing to the eyes. (They just needed a better script.)
I took Max to hip-hop, and chatted with people there. Went out for coffees, the gym, cooked delicious meals all week.
All of this done with the biggest knots in my tummy. I know that cancer couldn't be back. But what if it's back? But I know it wouldn't be. But what if it is? But it's not. Is it?
Dave's cancer came in May 2008 like a thief in the middle of the night. Robbing our family of what was supposed to be a joyful time. Sometimes I look over to Dave and say, "Man, I can't believe you're in remission!" And he always answers with the same thing -
"Hon, I can't even believe I had CANCER."
So. I couldn't wait two weeks. I rang his doctor myself, nervously tittering to the receptionist that I needed to put myself out of misery ahahaha.
The doctor rang me back, hours later.
No sign of lymphoma. All clear. I can't remember what he said after that, something about Dave needing a something-oscopy to find out about his reflux. He had me at "clear."
I hung up and sat in my car and cried. For the first time in ages I could hear the sound of my breath.
I went inside, upstairs to where Dave sat at his computer, searching for the ANY key. I knew his scan was clear ... he didn't. I couldn't *not* tell him, but I knew he'd be annoyed at me. So I promised him a quickie, and then I said:
"Mate, if, hypothetically, I had been freaked out for awhile about your appointments and scans and everything .... and I hypothetically rang your doctor for your results .... would you be mad?"
He told me that yes, he would be mad. Just leave it alone, and no news is good news.
"Well, what about if I rang your hypothetical doctor for the hypothetical results and your scan was all hypothetically clear?"
And I laughed and he hugged me and pulled me onto his lap and softly called me a fucking idiot in the most tender way.
(He was just as relieved as me.)
Then he reminded me of the time he was on chemotherapy and I promised him blow jobs whenever he wanted for the rest of his life. GREAT.
Later I took Max to a school disco and at one point I got up and danced to "Single Ladies". With gay abandon. And the kids looked at me strangely and Max walked off but for those 40 seconds I was Beyonce.
Today is wonderful. It's 3.40pm and we haven't gone anywhere. I made fresh basil pesto for lunch and watched Rocco fight a nap and lose. Max is having a friend over soon. I lit every candle in the house and just drank a Chai herbal tea that went directly into my Spirit.
We've used another one of our Get Out of Jail Free cards.
It's a wonder any human being is left on the planet at all, with all the pitfalls and dangers lurking at every turn.
This cancer fiasco has taught me to cherish life so much. And now if you'll excuse me, I have a flight for New York to book.