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Keeping It Together


Last week was tough. I haven’t written about difficult things in a while on Quiet Like Horses, but writing things down helps me process them. So, here’s what happened last week…

On Monday, Alan got scary results back from his routine cancer screening. We spent the rest of the week waiting for him to get a follow-up scan and going crazy waiting for the results. Even though it felt like our world had stopped, everything else kept moving forward. We went to work, Alan went to school, I went to Cost Plus and looked at the exotic candies from faraway places. In the evenings, we’d try to forget. We’d put on a movie and have a pizza party.

One of the movies we watched was Celeste and Jesse Forever. Have you seen it? The two main characters, Celeste and Jesse, are going through a divorce and at one point, Celeste excuses herself to go “eat her feelings.” It made me laugh. I’m a total emotional eater, too. It got me thinking about how we cope with difficult things, and how, for the most part, we do a remarkable job of keeping it together when we need to. So kudos to you, my dear reader, for all those times when you were strong and brave and helped someone through something awful. (Even if it meant you ate your feelings just a little bit.)

On Friday morning his oncologist, a pixie of a woman with cropped silver hair and a kind face, called with the results. She always called with news in a timely manner which made me like her very much. The good news was that the scan didn’t show any signs of cancer. The bad news was that she couldn’t explain the worrisome results from his cancer screening.

We sat on the couch and ingested what it meant. It felt better, but it still felt really scary. On my drive to work, without the movies and the pizza and all alone in my car, I felt a quiet tear slip down. It was followed by many more—an uncontrollable flood of fear and anger, punctuated by an ugly ragged breath.

We’re in a waiting game now, with our fingers crossed that his next screening in a few weeks shows better results. Until then, we’re trying to get back to business as usual (probably with a few more pizza parties) because that’s what feels normal and safe. I hope to continue posting regularly, and I want to thank you for reading and for your continued support. All your comments and visits here mean so much to me.

Last modified: January 10, 2019