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A Sudden Gasp

January 25, 2016

It took me hours to find a vaguely appropriate picture. Which is funny, because in real life, you see this all the time.

You know when you make the tech start crying and run from the room in tears that your cancer is bad.

That’s how I knew it at any rate. The radiology tech was running an ultrasound wand over my collarbone and neck and she gasped.

Up until then, she and I had been chatting, about our children (adorable), about Texas, (hot, but friendly), about whether MD Anderson would be able to cure my cancer (absolutely!) when she saw something.

She tried to cover it, but she couldn’t, and I pretended that I didn’t know. She finished her scan without saying a word and ran out of the exam room, almost hiding from me that she was about to burst into tears.

It’s gotta be rough, that job. The young woman obviously liked me. We had a lot in common. It’s not often that I meet an insta-friend, but this woman was certainly on that exclusive list, and then she found something that she knew, even though she was a technician and not a radiologist, was very, very bad.

As it turns out, the story has a happy ending. The radiologist who came in to explain to me that my cancer had spread to the fixed lymph nodes above my collarbone told me that I would be okay, that they could treat it with radiation at MD Anderson, but not necessarily anywhere else, and he was right.

Eight years later, I want to go back to that woman, meet up with her for a sandwich, and tell her that I’m okay, but I bet she checked up my medical file. I bet she was one of the many, many people who added their prayers to the miracle that is me. I bet she knows.

The fact that she was wearing a hijab is in no way relevant.




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  1. Judi Hyde permalink

    You are definitely a miracle! Thank you for continuing to share your experiences. You are fortunate to be surrounded by a multitude of wonderful people from all walks of life.

  2. Judy Shure permalink

    Thx, E. Glad to see new writing. How was NYC? And stormageddonn?


  3. Christie Woodfin permalink

    That’s just beautiful. And I love happy endings.

  4. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing this.

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