Waiting for the Call

I had a near death experience
It’s happened before
Sometimes it’s sudden
Sometimes it’s slow and agonizing
It wasn’t the first time I was in a position to truly consider my life
You don’t really think about what you’ve done until it’s almost over
Maybe there are those who ponder their lives when there is time
For others it is only when the time is near
Near
The time is near
I started thinking about that
Because I had time
Irony
Yes I had time to think that I don’t have much time
Because I was waiting for a phone call
This wasn’t about sweaty palms from the time I almost fell off a cliff
That was thirty years ago
And I can’t think about it or else I lose sleep
Or write about it
Actually this is only the second time I’ve written about it
But that was a snap of the fingers
A moment with no thought
But the terror was real and the next step was going to be the last
And I knew it
I needed to walk two large steps to my left and I would be still alive
Yet it might as well have been a leap of thirty feet
I didn’t think I would make it
My palms are sweaty now because it was real
And my children would never have been born
And I knew panic for the first time ever
Because I couldn't move
But I made it
And now I sweat over it
But that is not what happened this time
This time it was something maybe
Something maybe that might be a problem
And I waited by the phone
Well not exactly because it was in my pocket
Not sunshine
Just a phone so I walked around while it waited
In my pocket
So I became strong
Again
Because it had happened before
I heard a doctor say those words
“You have cancer”
I’ve heard it twice
And now I wondered if I would hear it again
But this time I would be ready
They surprised me before
But never again
I was ready and I was ready to fight
Fight for my life
It was going to be one of those times that you always remember
Not just the words but also the fight
Not just the fight but also the contemplation
And the introspection
About what was the point of life
And who I had hurt
And who I had helped
And who needed me
And who didn’t
And so the phone rang
And I heard a cheerful voice
But she was cheerful six months ago too
She had called and said, "Your numbers are elevated"
So I went back and now there she was again
Cheerful
I guess she talks about this stuff all the time
You know
About life
So she has to have her own life
She can’t be despondent about everything and everybody
How could she be of any use if she was?
So I waited
And she said
“The number looks good!”
“We’ll see you in a year!”
And that was that
So yet I was still thinking about life
It was the same either way
Because there are other cheerful nurses to speak with
Because I have other organs in my body
But the difference is that I have time
And it’s on my time
Not the doctors time
So what should I think about?

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Comments 4 comments

azure_sky profile image

azure_sky 4 years ago from Somewhere on the Beach, if I am lucky :)

Glad that you got that wonderful news! Think about how lucky you are to be able to watch your precious children grow up!


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 4 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

Me too azure_sky, me too.... it is good news to know things are working right in your body.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

I've thought about that particular anxiety, because I know of several families that have lost children to cancer. Some post a diary in "The Rainbow Bridge" that just reading is beyond the horror any child or parents should have to know. I am so glad to hear your news is good. I would imagine, though, same time...next year, it never gets easier.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 4 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

Hi Amy... no it's never easy. I've been told I had cancer twice already so it's a feeling I was familiar with. It tears me up when I see kids having cancer and having to fight for their lives at such a young age. It's one of the most confusing realities of life. But I'm ok and as you say, "same time... next year..." But the good news is my numbers (PSA) are ok so I don't expect a problem.

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