The Space In Between


“How are you feeling?”

It’s a question I’m asked a lot these days. The ironic thing is, I don’t seem to be able to answer this question fully at any one given time.  When I try to reply, the Truth seems to lodge in my throat, a gooey lump of hope and fear. Even now as I type this I feel it swelling…. an energetic chicken bone, jagged and piercing.  It makes my eyes tear up.

But I do my best to answer honestly.  I am OK.  I’m taking things one day at a time. I’m praying that the biopsy results – both from the procedure I had this past Tuesday and the one coming up on Monday – will show that these areas in my breast are benign.  For sure, I down play my feelings to make my kids feel better.  To make my husband feel better.

They all need me to be OK.

It’s been a bit of a surprise that I can be so filled with STUFF and yet I’ve been almost paralyzed when it comes to writing about this journey.  I see how superstitious I might be…as if even acknowledging the word “cancer” -whether in written form or verbally – will somehow bring it upon me.

If it isn’t already there.

It’s weird that when faced with my biggest health challenge, The words won’t come.  WTF is up with that?  Writing is my medicine!  It’s my guru and my therapist and my BFF.  Writing is a cathartic purging, that safe place where I can spew out all my demons and them sort them out.  Whether in my journal or here on the blog, writing has been extraordinarily healing to me over the years.

But not with this situation.  In fact, an odd stillness has me in its grip.  Sometimes  I wonder if it’s all the prayers being sent my way, keeping me calm. Uncharacteristically passive. Sure, I’m doing all the necessary things.  Going to work.  Doing laundry.  Fixing meals and caring for my family.  But mostly, I seem to be floating in the shallow end.  I spend any sleepless hours at night playing, not praying – playing some silly game or watching a movie or reading a bit.  I sit still A LOT.  I don’t talk much.  Hell, I haven’t even been cleaning – which is always my superpower during times of stress or uncertainty.

Someone hit my Pause button.

These past few days even my prayers have been simple.  “Thank you” and  “Please”  are almost always the first (and sometimes the only) words I think of when it occurs to me that maybe I should be praying about this. Unlike during my daughter’s recent cancer scare, when I would wake up in the middle of the night and immediately go into Battle Mode,  I wake up and grab my iPad to zone out. (although there is a meditative quality to arranging this and selecting that in the games I play.  And in all cases, I have CONTROL over what is happening….)

Maybe, as strong as I am….as powerful and Let’s Do This! as I have been, I might actually be a bit of a coward when it comes to things pertaining to my insides.  NOT spiritual things..physical things.  Things that may mean I have to yield my control over to other people.

Like doctors.  And surgeons.  And anesthesiologists.

Everyone has their own way of dealing with things, I suppose.  All I feel like doing is hiding out in my Cave until the storm passes, allowing things to unfold without much effort on my part. Taking it one step at a time seems to help. Letting go and letting God is mandatory.  Breathing, well…. sometimes I have to remind myself to do that properly.

Mostly, I’m waiting. For what, I’m not quite sure yet….

Later this morning I will get to work out for the first time since Tuesday.  I’ll go get a massage.  Maybe do a little grocery shopping and finish my laundry.  I’ll fix something healthy to eat, and hopefully won’t fall off of the Diet wagon again tonight when Comfort calls in the form of cookies or chips.

And in the spaces in between I’ll just be here now.