Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Eat, Pray, Clean

Waiting for test results is perhaps the most difficult aspect of living with cancer. Will the next result take one from "survivor" to the next level, that of living with metastatic disease? Even worse is waiting for the test results of a friend.

Two nights ago I cozied up to a pint of Haagen Daz Mocha Chip. Dairy is not on the healthy living diet I subscribe to. It is, however, on top of the list of comfort foods I reach for when I can't be near friends anticipating life-changing news. Curled up on the sofa, pint in one pot-holder-covered hand, spoon in the other, I allowed myself the childhood pleasure of guiltless consumption. The entire pint of ice cream did what few therapists could do in double-sessions: made me smile. My plastic surgeon will no doubt be delighted by the extra squish of abdominal fat he now has to work with when it comes time for my DIEP reconstruction.

Yesterday I found one of several Catholic Churches in our county with candles, the kind desperate believers light with prayerful intentions. I don't know what it is about modern churches but having canvassed four in the last week I can say that candles are no longer standard equipment. The 5-year-old and I celebrated our bonanza find by lighting six of the tiny lights (25 cents each) and saying our prayer for Mot. God must surely hear the prayers of little boys wishing well for others, don't you think? Even if they try to blow out entire banks of candles on the way out of church?

Today I washed the windows, inside and out. Moved the piano and vacuumed the toaster pastry crumbs from behind it. Pushed the love seat to the wall vacated by the piano. Found more toaster pastry crumbs, evidence of the 5-year-old's passion for secretive eating, I suppose. Scrubbed the kitchen surfaces, laundered every soiled item in the house, sanitized the bathrooms. Still puzzling over the paper cup of urine next to the toilet that the only likely suspect has vehemently denied producing; somehow, I'm grateful to be distracted by this probable intersection of boy, science and bodily functions.

There has been no word from Evanston. The silence fills me with dread. I want to tell him that I will listen, I won't say anything, I won't tell him what to do next. I know he needs time to process whatever has happened.

Cold fear. Acceptance. The distance between is everything.