How to Ruin a Life

The word cancer is like an anvil. It is weighty and dark, a tunnel with no light at the end. It falls out of the atmosphere and pounds me  into the ground with one swift stroke. It is deafening and any other word issued from the moving mouth is a silenced by a jet engine roar.

I am still standing, but I feel like I have just crumpled into my body like a deflated helium balloon. 

The PET scan showed blah blah blah metabolic activity in blah blah blah chemotherapy on Tuesday blah blah blah

The PET scan showed  the PET scan showed  the PET scan

CANCERCANCERCANCERCANCER

Crumpling, crumpling, crumpling and tears and wailing and pounding of fists.

In being a healthcare provider, I almost forgot what it was like on the other side – the waiting and the watching and not-knowing. The remembering is worse than anything.

I’m still standing, still hearing the jet engine roar and watching the moving mouth and nodding.

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