Hyperventilating. Taking in too much air. Too much oxygen. It makes a body dizzy. The room spins. This is rapidly becoming a Lifestyle for me. Hyperventilating Life.

Ha! THAT's what I should call this blog. Hyperventilated Life. It's like being recollected, but it's done at such a velocity that it knocks me on my keister.

Just a sec.



Somebody hand me a paper bag.

(okay, you ... breathe ... just breathe ...)

(I'm to danged OLD for this!)

I wonder if I have been holding my breath again. Maybe that's why all this sudden intake feels a bit hyper.

First, it was this. I want to go to school again. I really want to go to school. How can I go to school? Can I go to school? And all of it apparently on the inhale and then holding it. Afraid to let the air out. Waiting. Waiting. Wondering. Wondering. And then the chance! All at once, enough hours of work at the library, and poof! Enough money to pay for the first course. FWOOOSH! Air out! Air in! Air out! Paper sack! Some. Body. Hand. Me. A. Paper. Sack. Please!

Ahhh.... school again. Oh, I know this place. I've never been here, but I know this place. She is a teacher. I am a student. He is a student too. Do you think this? Yes, but I also think this. Oh, that's a good point too. Wait a minute. Let me write that down. Now, what about this situation? I've dealt with that at work. Really. Oh, yeah. A thousand times. That's what I do for a living. It goes like this. Wait. Wait. Let me write it down. That's a good one.So. Would you like to do some of your degree through PLA? Yes, please. This was fun.
And I appear to be breathing normally again. That has to be a good sign, right?



You saw what?

Oh. Yes. Of course.

Yes, do the blood test. The one that finds cancers. Most of the time it finds them? Most of the time? Okay. Whatever. No real choice here, after all. Do the blood test.

Okay, schedule a surgery. Even I can see that that's not right. I quite agree with you. Anyone with things like that showing up on an ultrasound should have surgery. It's obvious. But I'm not doing it now, okay? Not now. I got married twenty-five years ago, and I am going out of town with my husband and my weird ovaries, and we are going to be alone for a week of all our favorite things, and that's all there is to it. Schedule the damn surgery. I'll call you when I get back. (Surgery? Really? I'm supposed to choose surgery?? Have you met me??)

Turn off the morphine. I don't want it. No. No dexatroximetablahblahblah either. I do NOT like narcotics, Sam I am. I will not will not in a hospital bed, and I mean it. No. No thank you. Pain at about a level two or three. Really. No thank you. (Good. She's gone. Pass me the Arnica. I am NOT taking that other crap when this does the job just fine. When can I go home?)

Encased in paraffin. Who knew? They encase things in paraffin at the pathology lab. Freezing is faster. But they want to do paraffin. "They do their own sectioning." I have signed the paper that allows my ovaries to become part of a waxy subdivision or exfoliating cul-de-sac or something.

Why does it all have to be so bizarre? A waking dream, and not in a good way. They'll call when they get the call. She'll call when she gets the call. No more than two weeks. It doesn't take more than two weeks. If I don't hear from them by then, I need to call and check up. Just call the office.

Just call and ask, So? Do I have cancer?

Do I have cancer?

Don't ask my husband. He doesn't want that thought to land anywhere on his gray matter. He is afraid it will stick. No, he didn't tell me that. I can see it on his face.

And the phone rings.

And it's the clinic.

And it's my doctor.

It's only been a week.

Could that possibly be good news? She wanted to move quickly if they "found something." (In what universe is finding things bad? Or maybe it's not a universe. Maybe it's a neighborhood. The neighborhood where they send ovaries that have been encased in paraffin. Not a good neighborhood. Don't go in there at night.)


Papillary serous tumor, borderline.

English please?

Not benign.


Not cancer.

Not cancer.

I do NOT have cancer. I did not have cancer. Not cancer. Not.

Coulda been.

Borderline instead.

Caught very early.

Too early to turn evil.

Not cancer.


Paper bag, please?


Tissue. Hand me a tissue.

No. Bag. I need the paper bag.

Wait. Gotta blow my nose. Hurts too much to dance around the house, but I really wanna dance! No cancer. NO cancer!!! School and not cancer. This year is going to be about school. Not hospitals or blood tests or paraffin. Heck! I'm only burning beeswax CANDLES this year. I don't want any paraffin in my HOUSE!!!It is now only a little over a month before Michaelmas, and the battle begins again. The days shorten. The darkness rises.

Light and dark. Love and evil. Power and pretender.

Every time I light a candle this year, I am going to want a tissue for my tears. Every day of light this year is a day for deepest love, and every afternoon, in the moments before my patient, somewhat battered husband comes home for dinner in the darkness, I will light candles.

Today I accept financial aid. It's not much, true. But it will be enough. All summer, the aid has been enough.

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