It’s been nearly nine months now. The doctors say they finally have an idea of what’s going on, but they aren’t telling me what. I find myself reassured that I’m getting closer to the answers I seek. The truth will soon be discovered.
We missed the train last time around. By the time I could get to see the doctor, the antibiotics already suppressed the symptoms. She says the next time it happens, to call her and I’m going into surgery that morning.
I never thought I’d welcome this pain so willingly, but the drive to the hospital was the most euphoric pain imaginable. It was nigh unbearable, yes, but it meant an answer. The swelling’s never reached the lower half of my body before. I found myself wondering what significance that might hold.
I arrived at the hospital and was immediately prepped for surgery, as promised. The nurse who shaved the area was really cute. If I wasn’t so excited to learn the truth behind my suffering, I might have asked for her number. Maybe someday I’ll have my priorities worked out…
Days later, it’s my mother’s birthday. It’s also the day the family is going on our yearly vacation to Branson. She received a call in the Arby’s drive-thru just before we left town, but wouldn’t say what it was about. We had to stop by the house again because she forgot something she said. I saw through the cover but didn’t say anything. As she climbed back in the car, I knew something had happened, but again, she deflects.
The entire drive was spent talking with my best friend, who’s joined us for the trip, while in the back of my mind, I watched my parents for signs of what changed the atmosphere. That night, we ate at a delicious steak house and laughed the entire meal. I casually brought up the phone call and my mother sobered up until we left.
We’ve finally arrived at the hotel, everyone else has gone down to the pool to relax but Mom has stayed behind for the moment. Now is the time to find my answers. I nearly pin her up against a wall, demanding to know what is going on, and that’s when she breaks down. She explains to me that the phone call was my doctor. With tears in her eyes, she looks up at me, and speaks the words “It’s Hodgkin’s Lymphoma…Cancer of the lymph nodes. But it’s the curable kind…”
I sit on the bed opposite her, and within my mind, the words float by:
I have cancer.
Let’s do this.