When we were first told that I have breast cancer, the shock and fear swirling around in my head was almost audible. It literally felt like someone switched on the white-noise machine we use in my daughter’s bedroom to block out the street noise and make sure she sleeps sweetly in her crib. Except that this was not the stuff of sweet dreams. Those first hours and days were the hardest, most horrible days of reckoning I’ve ever known.
One day after sitting with the doctor and learning what was in store, my husband and walked out of the clinic and onto the street in a kind of daze. Then we did what any couple facing this scary new reality would do: We went to a bistro for cancer-fighting frites served with health-restoring mayo and some wine.
The fries and mayo helped. So did the nice wine. (And yes, I do know that even as much as half a glass a day may increase the risk of breast cancer, so if you’re at all concerned, you should stop drinking that half-litre and pass it on over here, because I’ve already got breast cancer, thanks.)
Sometimes when the news is life-altering, it’s easier to keep going on with your life as though it hasn’t been altered. Some call this denial, some say it’s our ability to adapt. I call it recess – a little break from the dark hallways and brutal lessons of the School of Cancer.