we’re meeting with the oncologist this afternoon.  i suppose now we’ll start to get some answers.  how sick am i?  what kind of treatment?  when will it start?  how long will it take?  as you can imagine, the list goes on and on.  in fact, i bet you’ve already asked me your own list of questions.  everyone who calls or writes has their own set, but they’re almost all the same.

“how are you?”  really, how am i?  shitty.

“when do you go to the doctor next?”  today.

“what stage is it?”  i don’t know yet.

“how’s your husband?”  he’s fine.  he doesn’t have cancer.

“how’s your daughter?”  right now?  she’s fine.  why don’t you ask me again after i’ve started chemo and she’s crying hysterically because she wants to nurse and i can’t?

“is there anything i can do?”  yes.  you can call me.  or visit.  or write.  a lot.  i need more distraction than you think.  please do not make me bad food or offer to take my daughter somewhere.  let me complain.  let me sleep.  don’t think you need to tell me how i need to “keep a positive attitude” or that “kids are so resiliant.”  don’t tell me about your problems.  i don’t give a shit.