by some interesting happenstance I ended up participating in a photo shoot for the susan g. komen event, race for the cure, a race that raises money for breast cancer research and screenings. I met a really lovely woman, mary lou, who was paired up with me in some photos. we sparked so gigantically when we met, you would have thought we were long lost sisters. I think meeting her is the reason that I did the photo shoot. we actually ended up being on the cover of the race brochure. anyway, last night was a get together with all of us who participated in the shoot. an opportunity to meet and talk to the others.

it was a small group, 10, plus friends and the staff. some fruit, cheese and cracker snacks, lemonade. I went around and talked to all of the women, and marveled at the stories they shared. two sisters who were diagnosed with cancer a month apart and were doing treatment together. they had lost their grandmother to cancer and their mother was a survivor. a woman of 28. a woman who was going thru chemo first to shrink the tumor then to have surgery. a woman 3 years out from treatment who had recently discovered there may be something happening in her bones right now. everyone on a different chemo  cocktail, a different duration, a different reaction. but all of us sharing the deeply lined faces, and overly shiny eyes, with exhaustion and fear lurking just below the surface. our bodies our battlefields.

during the evening, several women’s names were mentioned, followed by, “she’s not with us anymore.” the cold water in the face reminder that we had not broken an arm that would mend or had an appendix removed. this was a wild card game of chance we were dealt. no rules at all.

before I went there that night I received the letter in the mail from the hospital : “the results from your mammogram show no signs of cancer.”  exhale. big exhale.  and again I was struck by the fact that this was a letter I was to receive over and over in my life, always holding my breath as I opened the envelope. my reaction an odd mixture of huge relief and then a tinge of fear..not now. no sign of cancer right now

obviously a place I cannot hang out in, waiting for something to show up, but also realizing that your life matrix has been screwed with. you will never know for sure, so all you can do is believe that right now you are fine. you are cancer free.  and right now, and right now, and right now…