The Preacher and I rarely have nighttime conversations. But we had one a few weeks ago, after hours of simultaneous wakefulness,.
I addressed the mound next to me in the bed, the one outlined like a mountain in the moonlight.
“Hon?” I whispered.
The mound issued a grunt.
“What if it’s cancer?”
The mound responded. “Then we’ll deal with it.
“But you can’t have another health crisis,” I protested. “You’ve had your quota. Besides, you need to stick around long enough to take care of me when it’s my turn.”
Another grunt. (In retrospect, the epicentre of a long dark night likely wasn’t the best time to bring up the C word.)
The conversation died, but my thoughts vaulted on, remembering his symptoms, my fax to the doctor and his concerned response. Then, a suddenly greased passage through a battery of tests.
Emergency, barely weeks later. Surgeon speaking: “I have a small bit of bad news, and some very good news.” Deep breath. (Mine.) “Let’s get the bad news out of the way so we can think about the good news and forget about the bad.” With that graceful entry, he delivered the news. Bad: Colon cancer. Good: early detection, small tumour, not yet spread. Operable — very soon.
And so the Preacher and I add our names to the vast family of people who have been joined on their life roads by the beast named cancer.
We have chosen how to “deal with it.” We’ll wade through the confusion together. We’ll trust God to add meaning to it, in his time. We’ll learn from others who have gone before. And, as best we can, we’ll encourage those walking alongside.
Surgery is scheduled for mid-August.