Time to get dressed for work. My hands are shaking. I’m staring into my underwear drawer, but not seeing anything.
Today my doctor will be calling me with the results of my biopsy.
“Will you stop it?” I tell myself. “You’re fine.”
I put on clothes, but I’d like to get back into bed and lie there with the cat purring next to me. Instead, I will pretend that this is a normal day, and that everything is going to be fine. That lump was just a … a lump.
Then why do I stand in front of the mirror, tears in my eyes, holding my breast as if to protect it? “Will you stop it?!” I say again, this time out loud. “You’re twenty-seven years old! Twenty-seven-year-olds don’t get breast cancer. You’re fine.” I stare into the mirror until I almost believe it, giving myself a smile of mingled encouragement and exasperation.
I’m surprised to find myself at work. I don’t really remember driving here. I park and walk downstairs to the cabana. That’s what we call it – four of us have little offices inside. We work at a record company in Burbank; we’re all young and passionate about music, and full of rude good health.
I manage to do some proofreading. I can hear Emy listening to the new Prince album in her office. It sucks. I can hear Liza listening to the new Lush album. It doesn’t suck. I think about putting on some music, too, but I … nothing is right.
It’s Friday morning, so we have our weekly production meeting at 9:30, catered by Barb who serves really fresh fruit and those double-corn muffins I love. Now I’m thinking about the meeting, and where my projects stand in terms of deadlines. I’m not thinking about ME anymore when the phone rings.
It is 9:25.
I have never forgotten the time.
You don’t forget the moment when your life splits in two.
BC and AD.
You know the amount of time that makes up the BC part.
You don’t ever know the amount of time that makes up the AD part.
To my fresh and everlasting amazement, this August 3 AD marks fifteen years today. Every single day since August 3 BC is cake, to me.
Women: do your breast self-exams. I found the lump. It did not show up on a mammogram.
If you find a lump, it’s probably nothing. Really.
But if it’s cancer, knowledge is power. Get your treatment, then go on with your life.