Not that I think that it’ll be the end of me if I do die.”
“Meaning?” Tisha looked stunned that I would say something like that. “Are you talking about the afterlife or something else?”
“I mean that I’ll come back. You will too. My theory is that there are a finite amount of souls that keep getting recycled again and again. How you live in this life dictates how well you’re going to do in the next.”
“Really? Is that what you believe?”
“Yeah. And I also think that I must not have been good in one of my previous lives, because this is really a sucky thing to happen.”
“Is that what you think? You’re being punished for being bad in a previous life?”
“That’s the only thing that makes sense. Why else do some people suffer from bad diseases and poverty and whatnot, when they’re completely innocent? That’s hardly fair. It must be some kind of punishment.”
Tisha raised an eyebrow. “You sure sound like you’ve been thinking about this one for awhile.”
“I have. But, regardless, these are the cards that I was dealt.” Then I went into one of my drawers and brought out a deck of cards. “Speaking of cards…Wanna play Spades or Hearts or something?”
I dealt the cards and the two of us tried not to talk about my cancer for the rest of the evening. We made popcorn, drank a lot of pop, watched movies on Netflix and generally had a good time.
I hoped that this wasn’t the last good time I would have for awhile, although I couldn’t be sure.
T he weekend just flew by , and, somehow, our family managed to keep it all together. Addy had a normal weekend, as normal as possible, as she spent time with friends and hung out around the house playing video-games and surfing the Internet. Nick and I went out with Jack and Zane to the theater on Saturday, and Sunday was low-key. Everyone in the house studiously avoided the elephant in the room. We had to, really. We didn’t know anything yet, so we all decided that talking about this or that or the other wasn’t going to be healthy.
On Monday, after Addy got out of school, we ended up in the office of Dr. Jensen. He had the result from the PET scan back, and he wanted to speak with us. While I dreaded this visit, I also looked forward to it. We would know better what we were dealing with, so this office visit could only be an improvement over our current situation – hoping for the best, bracing for the worst.
“Okay,” Dr. Jensen said. “We have the results of Addy’s PET scan, and it seems to be good news. There’s no indication that the cancer has spread.”
I realized that I had been holding my breath, because, the second Dr. Jensen told us that the cancer hadn’t spread, the air from my lungs expelled in one long tendril. I gripped the side of the desk and felt tears coming to my eyes. Nick was sitting next to me, holding my hand, and, when Dr. Jensen informed us that Addy’s cancer hadn’t spread, he squeezed that hand. Hard. I put my arm around Addy, who was also crying.
“Thank God,” I said, looking up to the heavens. If He was up there, he was looking after Addy. I was breathing heavily, trying to process what the doctor had just said. “So, what does this mean?”
“I’m not going to die after all?” Addy said, her blue eyes getting wide. “I might actually realize my dreams of being a popular chef?”
The doctor cleared his throat. “At the moment, I would say that you have a 90% chance of going into remission. Now, we can schedule surgery for as early as next week. When would be a good time?”
“As soon as possible,” I blurted out. I was absolutely dying to get the show on the road. Get Addy’s cancer cut out and get her into rehab, and then everybody could get back to normal. “Tomorrow if possible.”
The doctor smiled. “Okay, let’s scheduled the surgery for Monday of next week. One week from today. At 9 PM.”
At that, he handed me a handout that detailed
Delilah Devlin, Elle James