I Do Not Have Cancer

I do not have cancer.

That’s a sentence I’m very pleased to be able to write. Because for a few days here, I didn’t know if that sentence was true. For a few days, I glimpsed a different path — one that looked very, very scary.

For a few days, I wasn’t sure.

It started with a blip on a mammogram. A phone call from my doctor’s office, saying, “Don’t worry, it’s probably nothing. But we want to schedule more tests.”

Then came the waiting… for the more in-depth tests, taken by more powerful machines. Then came the imaging waiting room, which held women who had already been diagnosed. Who already could not write that first sentence. Who had already started down that other path.

Then came the very serious technician, who asked me, in a badly worded question, “Have you had cancer before?” — implying the blip was already something that wasn’t “probably nothing.”

Then came the fear.

I know friends my age who have battled breast cancer. I know there’s nothing special about me that might prevent my body from going down the same path. I know it’s possible that first sentence could look very different.

I am grateful for this new day. And mindful of the ones who didn’t get the same good news.

I wish we all could write that first sentence, and it could be true.

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