“My husband has lymphoma!” I wanted to shout from the rooftops, I was so elated. It was the least of all the evils; it was the option I had hoped for.
Bob had just told me the news as we walked back home from dropping Henry off at day care. The early spring air felt cool and moist and smelled like earth freshly turned.
“Wait, when did you find out? How long have you known?” I inquired, suddenly suspicious.
“Yesterday,” he stated.
“You knew this yesterday!?” I couldn’t believe it.
For Bob, lymphoma had not been the news he was hoping for. It wasn’t good news for him. Trying to make sense of the information himself, he had been trying to spare me the bad news. Bob had still entertained benign as an option. It had still been an option for him until the tests came back definitive.
Now there was no more speculation, no more possibilities. He stood stranded on the street facing me. He was reluctant to admit the truth. He wasn’t ready to redefine himself. He wanted to reject the label.
“I have lymphoma,” He slowly repeated the statement, looking me straight in the eyes I could hear our breathing echo in my ears.
We stood there on the sidewalk with the word “lymphoma” bobbing and dipping around us. It eventually settled down beside us. I saw him pick it up and step into the word. He pulled it up around him and zipped it up like a snow suit.
My husband had cancer.