Monday, October 8, 2012

Case of the weepies


Today I cried until my cheeks burned.

Tears flowed, yes, but I cried so hard that I had to muffle my sobs in a pillow, too.  Dylan heard me.  Saw me.  Called for me: Mama!  Mama!  Mama!  I cried for cancer, yes, but not for my own cancer.  We spent three hours at the cancer center this morning and I watched dozens of patients, bald and weak, wait their turn in line like cattle.  The waiting room was so filled with cancer patients and their loved ones that by the time I left the hospital there wasn't a single seat left empty.

My visit to see my surgeon was an optimistic one.  The doctor--one of the top endocrine surgeons in New England--eased my worries by telling me that I will live a long and healthy life.  His confidence was overwhelmingly reassuring.  During my three-hour stay, I was sent for a third ultrasound on my neck and the technicians couldn't find any abnormal lymph nodes surrounding the tumor.  More good news.  Since I am pregnant I was given priority in line for thyroid removal surgery and am scheduled to get this cancer out of me next Thursday.  So soon.  With a top surgeon. My outlook looks fantastic.

And yet I cried all day.

I soaked in the tub to wash away the heartbreak I can't shake.  I took off the bandaid--quickly, as you do--on the site where my blood was drawn in pre-op, I scrubbed the ultrasound gel off of my neck, scratched away the gunk left behind from the EKG.  I felt numb and imagined that this is how Sylvia Plath must've felt before giving in and sticking her head in the oven, although I am not at all suicidal.  My visit to the hospital this morning was so uplifting, although wearing, and I still don't understand why I am so weepy. 

Or maybe I do.  If I'm being honest, I knew this was coming.  I'm twenty weeks and three days pregnant.  With my first pregnancy, the tears came over trivial matters such as burnt bacon.  Once I bawled sitting down to eat a sandwich.  Pregnancy is emotional.

I'm sure I would've cried just as long had I spent my day in a homeless shelter or at the pound.

Anyway.  Tears or no tears, I've got all of the faith in the world that this cancer will be behind us very soon.  Sean keeps cracking jokes about whether or not we can keep the tumor after the surgery.  We can put it in a jar on the mantle, he says.  I kind of like the idea.  It would be a great conversation piece at parties.