She Whispers

“I’m coming for you…” her whispers are calling to me a little louder today.

Who is she, you ask?

Well, we do not speak her name – because if we do, her whispers get louder. Harder to ignore. Speak her name and she will come.

She’s the voice that lives – rent free – inside my head every day. The voice that’s been haunting me since April 23, 2018 when she and I first became acquainted.

She’s now my shadow friend. The invisible frenemy that I can’t seem to shake. She follows me around and waits until the time is right, and then she whispers.

She hides in the bushes when I’m outside digging around in my garden. “How many more summers are you going to get to do this?” She’s lingering in the dark halls of my mind while I’m trying to focus at work, faintly trying her best to be heard: “I’m always here – even when you’re too busy to think about me.” She’s there every time I scroll past a ‘feel it on the first’ post on Instagram. “You wouldn’t even know if I came back on your rib cage – underneath that brand new rack that you went to so much trouble to get. Would you listen to me then??”

No matter how hard I try to ignore her, she is always there. And she will never leave me alone completely again.

“They found something,” she whispers to me now. “What are you gonna do? They found something… they found something…”

• • •

I had a bone scan this week that picked up a nodule on one of my ribs that my oncologist characterized as having “increased metabolism”. I’ve never had a bone scan before, so we don’t know if it’s new and malignant or old and benign. But, because of my history and the placement of this nodule, we are now monitoring the situation. “Monitoring” in medical terms just means waiting. Waiting 3 months for another scan to see if that spot grows and to determine if further action needs to be taken.

It’s been about 2 years since I was finally able to quiet that voice from a roar to a whisper. Two years of (almost) peace and quiet. But now, I’ve been tagged and it’s time to jump back into the waiting game – a game I’m more than familiar with. It’s one of the few games I’ve actually gotten pretty good at. In fact, if there was a Hall of Fame for the Waiting Game, I’d have been inducted a long time ago.

So now we wait. We wait for either a life-changing diagnosis or the “okay” to continue on with my regularly scheduled life. It could be nothing. It could be something. No pressure. No biggie.

This is life after cancer, and prayers would be so appreciated.

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