When a person logs on to the Internet he/she can pretty much be whoever they want at that point. I’m actually one of those people who is her authentic self while on FB, Twitter, etc. I say things as a lesfic author that could possibly cause some readers to abandon me.
I’m strangely okay with that because those little tidbits I post on Twitter and Facebook are usually things I believe in or things I’d laugh at. In short, I’m sharing myself with you and if you were here I might be sharing my pumpkin spice mini crullers with you as well.
Regardless, allow me to share more of myself this morning. There have only a few times in my life where I was terrified. The first one was coming out to my family. My sister, bless her heart, had been waiting for me to tell her so it wasn’t news. My mom didn’t take it so well. It took a while but eventually the situation calmed and now there is acceptance.
I’ll never forget the way my heart beat so hard and I’m pretty sure my intestines had tied themselves into knots. I was sweating so much my glasses fogged up, but I got through it. I said the words and was better for it.
The second time was when I discovered lumps in my own breasts at the age of 28. I tried to reassure myself that because of my age the odds were in my favor. I remember telling my Aunt, who was fighting breast cancer, about it thinking she could identify with my fears, but the only thing that stuck out was her telling me that maybe it happened because of my lifestyle.
I cried. I raged more because of her statement than anything at that point. But when I went to go have a mammogram, the radiologist tagged one large one as highly suspicious so much so that a biopsy was strongly recommended. I lived in New Jersey at the time. Atlantic City to be exact. Our apartment was a block away from The Boardwalk.
During my first biopsy, I shook like a leaf but I watched the whole thing. I even had to alert them when they went deeper in my breast tissue that I could feel the needle tearing through me. The doctor had to pull out and administer more of the local anesthetic. She apologized profusely. I have large breasts and on that day I burned it in my memory that it took more anesthetic to numb me than usual. To my sweet relief, the are was benign.
The third time I was scared shitless was when my mother told me she had breast cancer for the first time. I can still remember exactly what I was doing. I was in Metairie Louisiana standing in front of East Jefferson General Hospital waiting for the bus to take me back to my apartment. It was searing hot that day but I walked the curvature of the front driveway at least four times as we talked. I don’t know how I breathed or how I functioned but I did. The pit that settled in my stomach as she outlined how she found the lumps in her arm pit became a gaping maw by the time she expressed how fast they grew.
The bus was so fucking late and I couldn’t hold myself up anymore to wait so I called a cab. Eventually, she and we, meaning my family overcame this as well.
The fourth time was when my mom was virtually on her death bed. No, it wasn’t from cancer. She’s beat it twice like a fucking champ. It was because of an autoimmune disease, sarcoidosis. It had decimated her lungs. My mother had started talking to me about the papers I needed to sign according to her will in order to receive whatever she was bequeathing me.
I was numb. Literally numb. I went through the motions and when I thawed I was angry and irritable because I could do nothing. Somehow and through some medical miracle they found an experimental treatment that worked for her. She recovered and has just turned 65 this year.
In the interest of time and writing space, I’m going to cram these last situations together. That doesn’t make it any less catastrophic to me however. My wife recently had surgery and having to sit there and wait pulled every nerve taught. It didn’t help that she told me on the ride there that I would be allowed to grieve for a year and then she was sure one of my many fans would volunteer to take care of me. It didn’t help that she informed me of exactly how much her insurance policy was. So of course, my mind went to the worst. However, she pulled through even though she’s having some complications.
Lastly, since my first biopsy the next twenty years has led to a total of six. The last one was just a couple weeks ago. You’d think I’d become used to it but each and every time is like the first one. Sheer terror. I become pragmatic and expect the worst even though there is always the chance that I’ll get the best. I’ve been lucky so far.
But I’m human. Behind the words I write. I am a human with feelings and with a life just as complicated, just as happy, and just as occasionally shitty as everyone else.
KD’s work can be found on Amazon or at Ylva. Her next book in the Cops and Docs Series, Drawing the Line is now readily available. Her sixth novel Big Girl Pill will be released on December 3rd via Dirt Road Books. For more information on KD visit her website