A couple of nights ago, a small, warm body crept into bed between me and MrsPal. Our sneaky snuggler has been mostly keeping to her bed, but once in a while her fears get the better of her. And sometimes, my fears get the better of me.
A few months ago as my wife lay in a hospital bed trying not to choke on her own vomit I got a call from a friend.
"Pal? Someone from the breast center just called on MrsPal's phone. They won't talk to me. What should I do?"
A few days before her infamously complicated surgery, MrsPal took care of her yearly boob-squishing, but the results hadn't come back before she went under the knife. As she lay in her hospital bed not recovering, the results became available---sort of. There was no way I was going to disturb her with anything; we were too busy trying to keep her alive.
I called up the breast center, but predictably they wouldn't tell me anything (and I wasn't about to try to explain that we have documents on file for just such a situation; it would have taken too long). So I called a breast surgeon and asked her to take a look at the films. There was a mass that had been stable for years, but now it had new calcifications and more films were needed to get a better look. As my already fragile stomach dropped further I explained my dilemma, and asked if we could get away with waiting a while. She felt we probably could.
I didn't tell MrsPal about it. I kept the mail to myself. It may have been the wrong decision, but she was so fragile I didn't think she could handle another blow. But I failed to cover all my bases: once she finally came home, a registered letter came from her OB/GYN with the details. I explained to her my conversation with the surgeon and we agreed to wait a little while longer while she got her strength up. Her birth mother died of breast cancer, and in the last year or so, two of her friends have had bilateral mastectomies. This was not a great wait.
She finally got her follow up study yesterday, and I called the surgeon back: it all looks benign, no need to worry. And I didn't. I thought of my little kiddo who loves cuddling between us, who doesn't deserve any more fear and worry. I thought of my wife, and how she's finally dodged a bullet. And I slept.