I hadn’t cried yet over this cancer mess. The fact is, I hadn’t felt the need to. Yet.
I’ve envisioned crying great tears of joy sometime in June when the docs announce that I’m cancer-free. I see my self falling to my knees, heaving sobs, thrusting my fists in the air, the king of the world, having triumphed over this damned olive pit.
I had a girlfriend once who would say, whenever she cried, “I’m leaking.”
She also would swear she could never cry. Every time she would say, “I’m leaking,” she’d add, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I never do this.”
She did it a lot.
It would seem I should be doing it a lot these days. But so far, no. Shouldn’t I?
This morning. At the radiation center.
A couple, maybe 65, even 70, came in and after checking in with the receptionist, took seats in the waiting room. The husband had the clipboard in his hand. He peered at the questionnaire on it, lifting his chin to focus through his bifocals. The wife shifted in her seat, as if she’d sat on a chair full of ants.
A nurse came out to introduce herself. “Are you family?” she asked. The woman nodded. “The wife?”
It seemed the woman was afraid even to talk, that talking would wake her from the nightmare and remind her that this was no dream at all, that she was really here.
The nurse asked the couple to follow her. She led them to the room The Loved One and I were taken to the first day we were here. The room where they tell you all about radiation and chemotherapy. The room where they show you the video of the smiling guy lying back on the table underneath the business end of the radiation gun. It’s all pleasant in the video. Everybody smiles. “There may be side effects,” the voiceover guy says.
Yeah. There may be.
The couple disappeared into the room. The nurse closed the door.
I began leaking. Tears rolled down my cheek.
I cried for them. And for me.