Friday, April 8, 2016


This week marked an important anniversary.
(you know how I get around anniversaries)
This time it skated past me for the first time. Is time so short, that four years is now all it takes to forget the word – the promise of certain death and the redemption – the vow to pave over the regrets, to Live Life Always, without ever allowing a sunrise or sunset to pass unnoticed?
On it's own, it sounds like the next greatest recyclable, a breathable material perfect for sailboats and umbrellas, reusable diapers and carrying your groceries home. The Revolution.
When a doctor blurts it in a well-rehearsed sentence on the way into the room, locking eyes with you in desperation for your uterus and your health and your Salvation? Less sexy.
It's a cancer word, she said.
We don't have time, she said.
And everything I knew about medicine, about second opinions, about breathing? Drowned out by the fear in my ears, the tears in my eyes, the well-worn anxiety button in the pit of my stomach.
I am a Kwinn, afterall. We survive on contingency plans and fatalistic thinking.
Damage control.
I dropped into the well of myself as she laid me down, took pieces of me, her serenade reverberating in my head: your best case scenario is a full hysterectomy.
The next day, I flew into the four winds. I fast-forwarded to spring in the partially-digested thinking, flew over the emotional storm and landed in the arms of friends. The resolutions I made on the plane – to never again participate in soul-sucking monotony, to eat well, to say my prayers. To forgive those who had trespassed against me.
To keep the C word at bay.
To keep certain things sacred, like the sunrise.
You've read the rest of the story, or you can if you'd like. I kept my uterus, lost my fertility.
Kept my wits, lost my marriage.
Kept my fatalistic fantasies.
Burned down my life.
And just when I thought all was lost, I forgot. I forgot to worry, to plan for the worst.
I remembered to breathe, to follow the tiny compass inside of me. To hear the beat of my own heart, without imposing sorrow or desperation.
To see myself with new eyes.
Neoplastic does not mean cancer. It means new and uncontrolled growth (how's that for a mind f*ck?). And yes, when a doctor uses it in relation to laboratory results, it's not a good thing.
But I'm ready for it to be a good thing.
I somehow lost the memo that I'm attractive – in more ways than one. That a man (and The Man) don't get to define that for me. That I may be 35, which may be older than I feel, but it's a lot younger than I'll ever be again.
So while I could concern myself with not being 19 and blonde, not being moldable and shapable into someone's pet project or Flavor of the Week, instead I'm concerning myself with being exactly who I am.
Growing, uncontrollably.
I'm getting ready to fly into the four winds again – this time without an agenda or sense of direction.
In no one's cage.
Not even my own.
With a New Age definition of neoplasm.