“Your recent mammogram was normal,” the letter from my health provider stated. I read the sentence a couple more times to make sure I got it right. Normal. How comforting, how safe-sounding.
My husband and I had just returned from a camping trip to a beautiful and peaceful place. Last year at this time we returned from a different camping trip to discover I had breast cancer. As a person who tends to look for patterns in life, I couldn’t help being a bit nervous. On the way home I thought about how I might react if I was once again called in for a recheck. I think it would be harder this time than the last. Going through cancer once is scary, but having it return? I think that would be much worse, because the fear would arise that this cancer was never going to go away, that life would never be ordinary and safe again.
But the letter said I was normal–or at least, one part of my anatomy was. My husband gave me a high five, and we both grinned. The sun was shining, we were home from a wonderful trip, and we could go on living each day and planning for the future. There will be unexpected challenges to come–that is a given for all of us–but for now, life is good.