and so dear readers, when almost last we met, I had received the letter in the mail stating that my biopsy from last july was…wait for it…wait for it….BENIGN…

had to, must be, no other option, this was a massive screw up on someone’s part. clerical error extrordinaire…no way that this could be true, right?

my daughter’s second response, after a long stunned silence, was to pick up her phone and google “ what is the average out of court settlement for medical malpractice…answer is …$450,000. that would work mom.” ah, the savvy youth…

as I opened this letter on a Friday evening, I had to sit with this over the weekend. I spoke to two people that are knowledgeable about such things and they both said get an attorney first of all and have them make the phone calls. I am in no way a litigious person, but for a screw up like this, I would follow this to the ends of the earth.

so, it is most interesting to note that I felt absolutely zero anger. none at all. I just kept laughing and shaking my head. seriously?! was the cosmic punch line to the last year of my life. Surprise! No cancer! and oh, no breast either, but hey, no cancer!

would I have traded this experience for anything? actually, no, I wouldn’t. it has changed me in remarkable ways, I have discovered strength I had no idea I posseesed and depths of despair I had no idea I contained. I dove deep into that abyss and swam back to the surface. over and over again. I am a hell of a diver.

I love my new body. no regrets. I started writing because of this.

but, what would I do with all of that  money if it were true? I found answers immediately. next to nothing in my life would change. I would buy a new car, one that I could road trip and camp in.  put my daughter thru college. keep teaching and doing massage and have the ability to offer services for free for those I need it. start planning more yoga trainings, massage trainings, workshops. my never ending schooling. take my mom and daughter to Hawaii. that’s about it. just keep living. I love what I do and have no interest in “retiring”.  I was seeing a “win/win” situation here.

spoke with an attorney on Monday, who quite simply said, “why don’t you just take the letter to your doctor when you go in for your chemo and ask him about it?” he seemed rather unconcerned with being paranoid of documents being altered, etc. I trust him. his wife went thru breast cancer 2 years ago. he knows. he’s lived this. there was nothing flippant about his response.

so I went in for my chemo on Tuesday whether I needed it or not… and spoke to my adorable oncologist. he was utterly apologetic, pulled up his reports on his computer and showed the discrepancy. his files say cancer. all of the other files say cancer. I spoke to the woman at the record library of the cancer center and she said that I had been the second phone call that day saying I had received a letter saying that the biopsy was benign, many months after the fact, when it was not. computer, clerical error. she was horrified and so apologetic.

and so all is well. I did have cancer and I won’t get a big check.

and I got my chemo, my last chemo, and apparently, I needed it.

so it was interesting to be tested in this way to see how I would respond to this possibility. everyone else around me freaked out. I, for once, did not. I would most certainly not shrug my shoulders and look the other way if it were true, I would make sure they were held accountable. but somehow I was able to sit with the idea of just accepting that truth (if it were) and knowing that I could do nothing about it but move forward. a place I have been utterly unable to get to regarding other things in my life. things I rail against daily in their unfairness. this was a pleasant change. I liked the way that this felt. would not have turned my nose up at the money though…

and so here I am. one day after the last chemo. sitting with that swirling whirlpool of liquid metal in my guts, skin crawling and moving towards the couch and the fireplace. to tuck in for one last hibernation. one final petite mort, and savor it, because i will hopefully never feel like this again, before the cocoon starts to ready for unfolding. i am ready.