Yeah, so. I've got cancer.

I look at that sentence and I giggle.

Beloved Pens, when I called her, was at the Salvation Army. She wandered around the store for an hour longer, feeling sort of blank, and then went home and drank gin and ate ice cream.

Beloved Sister was driving when I called. She went home and had a fight with Beloved Brother-In-Law about money.

I don't know what my Sainted Mother or Beloved Father did.

I think about all of that, about life going on around me just fine, and I giggle. I saw my neighbor, Pastor Paul (Man of God) and his Lovely Wife, planting trees out in their back yard, not fifteen minutes after he'd come over and prayed with and for me, and I giggle.

Because, you know, life does go on.

At some point, my hair will fall out. If I'm lucky, I'll end up with a big scar down the back of my throat. If I'm not lucky, I'll end up with a big scar where you can see it, down the side of my neck. I'll have radiation, and maybe chemo, and possibly hideous treatments that are only whispered about in the bowels of Sunnydale.

But life will go on, regardless of what happens to me. Unless I announce it in the middle of the grocery store, nobody there will know that I Have Cancer.

I'm saying those three words over and over and over, because it's important that I understand just how serious this is. So far, it's all happened in third-person, sort of the way the discovery of the lump did. I have a feeling that that third-person sensation will return at every juncture or every new discovery: I need chemo, so I'll go third-person. Radiation is done, so I'm in third-person. Surgery is tomorrow: I'm third-person. CT is clean: it's third-person.

I recognize that it'll all come down to first-person at some point, and I really hope I have the wherewithal to write about that. I would hate to abandon the blog for lack of material--and it looks like I won't have to, now, wahoo!--or because I'm just too tired or overwhelmed to write.

So I'm not going anywhere. That's the second thing we can all hold on to as fact.

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I'm wearing my hair down tonight. After so many years of keeping it very short, I'm going to miss it when it goes. But then, I can be one of those women with the cool scarves and the huge earrings.

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I tried to reassure my Brother in Beer and Pens tonight that I was not going anywhere, that I do not plan to die from this. It is, after all, a low-grade carcinoma, with or without vascular involvement (which, frankly, scares me because I don't know what it means). My BiB kept saying, "Oh, Honey, I am so sorry" and Pens kept reassuring me that she was there for me...but I feel like I need to be there for *them* right now. It's easier for me, in a way, because I'm living through this. I may not know what's coming, but at least I don't have to imagine it happening to anybody else.

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Maybe radiation will clear up my acne.

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I really hope there's a way that we can do all this that won't involve me being trached and PEGged.

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This is the first night that I have cancer. By the time Rob shows up tomorrow evening, it will have been about twenty-four hours since I found out. I wonder what I'll do tomorrow to pass the time. Maybe I'll pay bills (needs to be done anyhow, and would be a nice normal thing to do). Maybe I'll research this further, though I don't know where else to look. Maybe I'll rage at God and shake my fist at the sky.

One thing I know for sure: God, whatever you conceive Him to be, has plans for me. I would not have gotten this diagnosis if it weren't part of some bigger, better plan.

I may have to work my ass off, but I'll deserve the second chance I get.