For once it wasn’t me squirming in the chair. While sitting in the office, staring at the industrial desk that makes me wonder why not just spend a little extra for real wood, the only sounds was the heated air from the vent above. It’s not like we didn’t have things to talk about, but that classic silence was nerves about what we might hear.
Earlier in the week someone had volunteered to go with me to hear the results of the latest series of tests. It was also an opportunity to ask a question or two for herself and I didn’t object. Neither of us knew what the doctor was going to say and that’s the part that had me concerned. People react to things differently and I wasn’t sure how this might play out.
After my portion of the listening was done and the doctor had filled my ears with warnings and options, it was like that Mel Brooks joke about never expecting The Inquisition. At least his version had music and a sense of whimsy, you don’t really get that at an Oncologist. Three questions and 15 minutes later it was time for the next person to take their place in my chair and hopefully hear better words than I received.
“You see and read about these situations, but you can’t imagine the confusion until you are sitting in the room.”
I nodded my head and we sat for a few minutes. There was more to come and being in the car wasn’t going to make things easier.
The choice a bit ago was to let someone read through my medical information. Had my ex ever looked, the same information was linked to the laptop I gave her. (I’ve changed the link since, not that stupid…)
This is why having decided that forming a good, solid friendship meant I was going to need to let someone play catch-up with the details. The fact that the details were a road map of cancer and what my time left was going to entail, it’s what has been my excuse for the arm’s length approach to people.
I did my best to answer her questions. Some I could and a few I just told her I wasn’t ready to go over. While it wasn’t the first time I had heard these words from a doctor, I still wanted to arrange me thoughts before the inevitable bit of angry came out.
And I didn’t want others to see that. Not right now, not right now. This was the time I needed to be the stronger one while she gets to fall apart a bit.
Friendships go through lots of tests, but this is like the ultimate final exam!
There was a selfish component, now another person knows the details. I don’t have to smile every time because the world got a little bit larger for me.
By the time we got back to my house and carried in the bags with food for dinner, everyone else had come home from school or work. The noise was the best medicine. My smile was genuine and nothing else mattered for a while.
One thing I’ve learned is that hugging people is also a good thing. Not just small children, but a great pill for my inner anger in two arms.
We didn’t share anything we learned yesterday. Everyone in the room already knew those details, no need to remind them. Nothing changed
My fears are shared to a degree. But watching those around the table, there will be time for their tears later. My job today is to build as many positive memories as possible. To give them a better life while I am still able.
As for my friend, she eventually broke. I’m glad she did, it helps lessen my worries about her dealing with things. It was my turn to offer up the hug. This one time the collar was wet from someone else’s tears, not my own.
Part of my world is getting smaller while it also is expanding. It’s also why I have been so apprehensive about bringing new people into it. Expanding theirs only to remove the new piece eventually. But that also is about my fears of the past driving too much of my future. I don’t want to get hurt anymore than I want to see them get hurt. Loss is still something I’m not truly comfortable with. I’d rather tell you a joke than admit to it.
I still haven’t slept. Weird combinations of dreams and nightmares, mostly nightmares have kept my eyes open.
Am I scared? Yes, but it has to do with a argument about faith and where I end up in the cosmic sense. Mostly am I going to see my daughter. I really would like to know that. Maybe that’s the bit of hope I hold onto…