“Your right ovary is enlarged. That’s unusual after menopause.”
This is not something you want to hear from your gynecologist when your mother died from ovarian cancer at 61 years of age. I stare at the ceiling and try to stay calm.
“Let’s schedule an ultrasound.”
I go mute. I don’t ask any questions. So unlike me. I accept my sentence and graciously take my referral paperwork from the nurse and half listen to her instructions. I need to get to work for a meeting at 9am. I’ll process this later. It’s Wednesday and life is busy.
On the following Monday evening, in anticipation of my early morning ultrasound appointment, I decide to go through my personal books. In a Marie Kondo moment when I sold my house on Del Monte, I gave away boxes and boxes of books to the library. I have to admit it was NOT life-changing magic. It was like cutting off an arm. What I have left on my bookshelves are most treasured.
I paged through them one by one- reading underlined sentences and comments written in the margins and tearing up over little pictures and holy cards I stuffed away in the pages intentionally. It was the best kind of treasure hunt. But who was this woman who read all these books and hungrily devoured their content? What happened to her? And where is she now?
I contemplate the woman I have become. I’m busy. Too busy. But what am I busy about?
Meetings, counseling teenagers, paperwork, data, traffic duty, chaperoning dances juxtaposed with weddings, new grand babies, summer vacation… how could I ever fit in (God forbid) surgery, radiation, chemo, oh my. The what ifs took over.
The wine helped. I got a pricey bottle of red just for the occasion.
The next morning in the middle of yet another meeting I received an email from my doctor with a clean bill of health. It’s just a fibroid- nothing to be concerned about. Back at work I feel relieved- yet oddly changed. What matters? What am I missing here?
And the larger more encompassing question… would it take a debilitating illness in order to give myself permission to step off this hamster wheel?
I started this blog over a month ago. Hoping that a clever ending would make it’s way into my consciousness during a bike ride or a hike. That’s what usually happens. But nada, zilch.
What are you busy being about? What are you planning on doing “some day”? When the dishes are done. When you finish the landscaping outside. When you quit your day job. When you win the lottery.
What are you waiting for?