Attack Of the “C” Word

Sept. 9, 2019

Doc opened the door, his face crumpled under the weight of what was to come.  Sensing danger I press the eject button, instantly leaving my body hostage while I usher the rest of me out to safety. I am an observer in a distant place, witnessing the epic blow smash into the 42-year-old form.  The “C” word seeps out of his mouth like toxic fumes, slowly poisoning the air in the small exam room. “You have Invasive Ductal Carcinoma… that’s Breast Cancer”. 

Invasive…my mind draws a parallel to an invasive plant species raising havoc inside my precious ecosystem. It’s aggressive root system fuels the plant to grow at an extraordinary rate, smothering the native species, devouring the existence of the original inhabitant. Devouring me…I grip the smooth, wooden arms of my seat to keep me steady. He says the abnormal cells would multiply, take over, and ultimately wipe me out without a swift contingency plan.

The standard course of action is to uproot the intruder and take extra measures to ensure my survival. In short, it’s an extract, burn, and poison operation making its habitat uninhabitable. To strike hard…quickly, before the seed pods open to spread its offspring all over me. I’ve been drafted for war…the battlefield is on my right breast.   How did I miss the war cry? How did I miss the declaration of dominion over me? How the hell did this happen? My body is an empty shell, his words swirl around inside, scrambled up in a nonsensical mess.

“It’s very treatable” he says. My MD is a kind man, who genuinely cares for my well being but the exam room is stifling me. I need to get out, to breathe myself back into the container of my body…to be alone to put all his words together and make sense of it all. “Ok, I’ll be in touch with the oncologist, thank you”. I’m surprised at the steadiness of my voice but I have to summon the force to exit the room. 

I close the windows in my car to shut the world out. The accelerating thumping of my heart pounds me from the inside. My reality is crumbling from the periphery, rattling the ground beneath me and there is nothing to hold onto. I don’t want to go to war…


“When i run after what i think i want, my days are a furnace of stress and anxiety; if i sit in my own place of patience, what i need flows to me, and without pain. from this i understand that what i want also wants me, is looking for me and attracting me. There is a great secret here for anyone who can grasp it.” – RUMI

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