Black Cloud, Silver Lining

- Thursday May 4, 2017 -

I have to keep reminding myself to breathe.
I skip breakfast and lace up my grass-stained lawn mowing shoes because I need work that makes my lungs burn and temporarily overshadows the other weight in my chest.
I need to give my heart a different reason to violently pound against my ribcage.
Distraction feels like freedom at this point.

… My dad taught me to mow the lawn.

Roughly 284 days have passed since Monday, I think.
No. It’s only been three.
Only the longest three.

So here we are.
Waiting for more answers.
With words on our minds like “aggressive cancer” and “possible metastases.”

“Well congratulations, you’ve broken the record,” says the receptionist when Dad checks in with his accompanying party of six.
“I don’t know if we have a room big enough to accommodate all of you.”

Then we’ll squish.
But we’re all here.
Plus the one on the phone.
So yes, you’ll accommodate us just fine.
Because we’re here.
And we intend to continue being here.
No matter what happens in the next 56 minutes.
Or the next 56 days.
Or, heaven permitting, the next 5 - 6 years...

I sat in a doctor’s office 9 years ago and talked about cancer.
That day was grim and shrouded in black clouds that never lifted, and I’ve been constantly reliving it in my mind for the past three days.

Please don’t let today be that day.

“The bone scan was negative,” says the doctor… after 13 minutes of agonizing suspense and other information we didn’t hear because this is the answer we’ve been waiting for.

In cancer speak, that’s actually positive.
Because the scan is negative for metastases.
Negative for cancer in the bones.


Today is the day we met those familiar black clouds of cancer and painted on our own silver lining.
Today is the day we left the doctor’s office with options, and options feel like cloud break and sunbeams and hope.

“Look forward to many more continued love & memorable experiences,” he wrote on my birthday card last month.

Yes, Dad.
That is exactly what we’ll do.


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