“Your results are in and they’re not good”
This is what my GP said while he opened the door. His eyes were cast downward. His back was to me. All I could see was his white lab coat. I knew then that I had cancer. What else could it be, a slipped disc? Some arthritis? I had back pain for months and I did all the things you might think of. I saw a Chiropractor, a masseuse, an acupuncturist. I even went to a “healer” who did Reiki on me and told me that my adrenal glands were stressed. A friend of mine gave me a book to read that suggested that my back pain was, “all in my head.” Somehow my pain was rooted in unresolved anger according to the book. I read the book in a couple of days and was fascinated. All of the treatments helped but for never more than a day, so I decided to see my doctor.
I was stoic. The doctor talked about the “progression” of my cancer. It was in my back which meant it started in either the prostate or the lung. He did a prostate exam (no big deal). Then he gave me an order for a chest x-ray. I nodded and acted composed (the people –pleaser in me). I felt numb. I got up and said good by to the lady at the front desk. I walked out into the Ojai sunshine that felt surreal. It was a beautiful day. Life goes on but I felt separated from the levity that comes with a Friday afternoon. I saw someone getting into their car. Why could that not be me, ho-hum going about my day? I drove to Deirdre’s work. She wasn’t there because she was preparing for a Rotary event which happened to be a luau. I text her to please come home and then sat at our side yard. A light wind sifted through the oak trees. The sunlight and views of the farm reminded me of how sweet and simple life can be. Should be. I was in shock. Nothing made sense. The word cancer didn’t make sense. Me? Dee swung the fence open. We looked at each other. That was the worst moment in this entire process. The doctor called.
“You have a tumor in your lung.”