exhaling in the pummeling rain on a1a

spent the tail end of yesterday afternoon playing chicken
staring down a phone message from my doctor's office
WHY would they be calling on monday
when they told me there would be no information until wednesday
unless the news was so ragingly, painfully bad
that there was no point finishing germination?
having finally gotten some sleep
all day yesterday
i was groggy from something other than the pain medication
and i found the fear running through my veins again like a train through the
rolling with the momentum of a downhill run,
rolling with the power of uphill locomotion
my heart racing like a rabbit on the discovery channel,
about to be dinner for some fanged beast of prey
and knowing the observers weren't going to intercede
so i went to the grocery store
and there in the publix, between the mojo criollo + the fresh fruit,
the crunchy peanut butter and the spanish saffron
looking way into the "i don't have a problem" DTs
it occurred to me (eek): not calling doesn't outrun the outcome
bad news is still bad stuff, even if you refuse to let them tell you
pick up the phone, stupid, and dial
and so i did...
there along the ocean highway
with the rain coming down sideways,
the malibu flashing and crawling
my heart pounding harder than tommy lee in motley crue's most rocking days
terrified and driving and holding for dr cooper's nurse
the poor nurse forced to tell me to get on a plane
because, you know, i must be amputated from the waist up
"you're cancer free..."
"your tests are back... cancer and pre-cancer free"
"yes, you have a pappiloma...and dr cooper can explain that when you come in for your follow-up visit."
and that's when the crying started. sobbing. bawling. then crying all by
in classic holly fashion, though, i also threw up...
too much adrenalin with nowhere to go
so it created its own exit path
and then i cried some more
relief. joy. surprise.
it was all there.
everything i was sure i wouldn't be feeling at the end of the phone call
terrified that if i told myself it was nothing,
fate would not be amused that i wasn't taking this situation seriously
and ZOT the hell out of me
terrified enough that i wouldnt consider the possibities for fear of making
it real
fate being cranky with my lack of faith
and ZOTTING the hell out of me
so somewhere in a reality akin to a green grape suspended in red jello
where denial didn't exactly run rampant,
nor fatality frolic like a colt in pastures of green
i tried to be stoic, gargle with terror and act as if
i don't know how i did really
i do know that the people i told made me feel better
and everyone who responded to the e-mail were angels with wings on their
thank you
in ways you can't imagine, for things you wouldn't consider
fear of being erased is as bad as the fear of pain
i'd like to believe that a bad thing wouldn't make people sidestep me
the way we sometimes do street people when we know we can't change their
people are our greatest strength
for just when i was sure i wasn't going to make it to wednesday
came this outpouring of strength and hope and love
it hopefully wasn't too taxing for you
but a huge deal for me
and i thank you for it
know how powerful little things can be
give them whenever you can
because my doctor was aggressive about something
that was potentially life-threatening
-- the very same course of action andre agassi's 30 year old sister took
+ ended up being positive,
but now back in step and shape with a perfect recovery rolling out before her)
and know somewhere amongst the packing boxes,
i am laughing a laugh of the freaked and now settling
that awkward sound that means i have seen experienced something bad
but it looks like all is okay
because that's where i am this morning
painfully grateful
both for the results and you
and eddie montgomery who let me know to let people reach back
a-men and then some
it ain't an aerosmith review,
but to me -- i PROMISE -- it's every bit as exhilerating!

ps: the doctor's office had told me it was tuesday or wednesday
because if the results had been dodgy, they'd have wanted to run them
and because my doctor's speaking at a medical conference and wouldn't
have been able to make the double-checked call until then
and wisely, he didn't think it was something he should palm off on an
talk about sigh and the some --
-- Holly Gleason