Wednesday, November 07, 2012

At The Top Of My List

"How are you?" Dearest One asks the waitress as we place our order for tea and toast. [lovely song about tea and toast .]

"Old and bitter," was her reply.  I looked at her and said, "Life's too short to feel that way." I'd just said goodbye to my sisters who were boarding a plane to go back home. There had been tears and hugs and much love. The waitress looked at me and at that moment the tape that holds my drain tube in place was itching and I reached to scratch it. In doing so my sweater lifted and the drain tube was visible for a second. She glanced at it as I said, "truly, it's too short." Our eyes locked for a moment then she nodded in agreement and left to put our order in.

I can't read between the lines at the best of times, nuances stump me often. It was a few minutes before Dearest One told me that the waitress had been joking when she'd said she was old and bitter. Oh.

In the pitch black darkness of the early morning we watched out the airport restaurant windows, waiting for my sisters' plane to leave. While doing so we had a very frank talk about what could come next in my cancer journey. Dearest One told me he was grateful that we didn't need to be separate and alone with our thoughts, some of them as dark as the night sky, but that we could speak them out loud to one another. Thoughts lose some of their power that way.

The waitress brought our order and said something that made us laugh; something that showed us her feisty, kind hearted side. I cut myself some slack for taking her so seriously.

Later that afternoon we sat down with the surgeon to talk about drain tube plans and pathology results.

The news unbelievably good.

No lymph node involvement, no blood stream involvement in the mastectomy tissue. Very likely that the cancer was contained in the lumpectomy.

It feels like we won the lottery.

Until the hormone receptor tests are back and I see the oncologist, I won't know for sure what comes next, but it's looking far more probable that chemotherapy and radiation will not be in my future. Words are not adequate to describe how I feel.

I lay in bed this morning before sunrise pondering not only my day but my life. Hoping that if God grants me a long one that I won't be a walking advertisement for "old and bitter" as I age. That instead I will be feisty, joyful and real. Real is at the top of my list.

24 comments:

Erin Wilson said...

i'm crying as I read this.
So, so grateful.
xoxo

Peter said...

I'd say the Old and Bitter Association has just scratched you off their membership list...

http://owenswain.com said...

Hope, agree with Erin. Continuing to pray. Brotherly love.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful, wonderful news!

Robin

Daisy said...

((((((((((((((((((((((((Hope))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

At work, I was thinking of you during lunch today; wondering how you were doing. Very glad to see this post and even more so to hear that kinda news!

tina hunt said...

Real is good...and fiesty ain't half bad either. Rejoicing in the goodness of your report.

Hope said...

Me too, Erin. Thanks.

Hope said...

That's my goal, Peter.

Hope said...

Thanks, Owen. Prayers much appreciated. Love to you and MB.

Hope said...

I agree, Robin!!

Hope said...

Thanks, Daisy. I had to stop typing so much in the last week to help decrease my pain level so that's why I've been quieter. Today is a crap day pain wise but is doable.

Hope said...

Thanks, Tina! Both sound good to me, too.

annie said...

Again I will say, this is excellent news! I am so very happy to hear it!

Lori said...

Thanks be to God.... I am so beyond ready for some good news for a change. Oh Cheryl, my heart jumped with joy at your news.... damn good!

Jim said...

Good news is always good news; but your spirit and your honest coupled with your faith always has me somehow leaving here, albeit sometimes with you in prayer, with a smile. In you I do find "hope"...

onesobercatholic said...

That is wonderful news. I continue to pray for you and hope all your future news is wonderful.

Hope said...

Thank you my friend.

Hope said...

I love that phrase "thanks be to God."

Hope said...

Thank you for being an encourager in my life, Jim

Hope said...

Thank you for praying, MC. I could not be getting through this without prayer.

Heidi Renee said...

Just feeling those words wash over me - such wonderful news! So relieved and celebrating with you today, sorry I am late to the party!

Gretel O'Brien said...

Loved reading this, reminder I will not be old and bitter as long as I focus on the joys in my life. Thank you for this!

Hope said...

No worries my friend. Grateful to have you reading.

Hope said...

Joys make such a difference don't they?