Earlier this week, after returning home from a few hours of packing/tossing at Cold Comfort Cottage, Fellow Traveler and I consoled one another with the thought, "After this weekend we'll be over this drama. And how nice that will be."
Hours later I was lying on an examining table, in the middle of what I'd assumed would be a fairly routine annual exam, being told by the doctor that I needed a mammogram and a consult with a surgeon. Because the annoying itchy spot on my breast that I'd chalked up to being bitten by some unseen critter -- one that had left a similarly irritated spot on my leg around the same time -- may well be cancer.
So much for the no drama thing.
I drove back to my office in a fog, packed up my computer and came home. Fellow Traveler wasn't home; and to make matters worse, she'd left her cell phone at the Cottage. I didn't see the car near the local business where she was heading that morning. I drove back home; decided to drive back to the cottage. En route I saw her approaching; I flashed my lights and pointed north. She told me later that at first she was totally confused by my presence in town at midday, but when she saw my ashen face she knew something was wrong.
FT is not a stranger to this type of news; 30-some years ago, when she had her younger son, she was diagnosed with cancer and had to undergo treatment while caring for a newborn and a toddler. So I sobbed into her shoulder for awhile. Then we picked the dogs up from their grooming appointment and all went home. And the humans played online Scrabble and Scramble while the shorn canines skittered around in the back yard. I was exhausted, and asleep by 7:00 p.m.
Later on that night I tossed and turned awhile, trying to process all of this. I finally dozed off and had a strangely light, amusing dream that made me chuckle when I woke up, until I remembered my exam. Then the thought occurred to me: Find your team.
I have learned to honor my 2:00 a.m. intuitions. So I'm gathering my team. I'm calling it the E Team, in honor of Fellow Traveler's and my first names. It needs healers and pray-ers, and joke tellers and encouragers, and cancer veterans and information-gatherers, and quiet listeners. Everyone's on the field; no one gets benched.
Please be on my team, in the weeks to come.
So much for the post-Christmas no-drama.