Juj hasn’t been to a doctor in 20 years. She doesn’t have a doctor. Hasn’t been sick in 20 years. Hasn’t taken a medication in 20 years. Juj is also one of those people who doesn’t vomit. Nausea vomit? Nope. Sympathy vomit? No. Kid puke vomit? uh huh. I’ve been a rock musician, a whiskey drinker, and a serial traveller. I’ve stuck my face in our toilet bowl enough for ten men. But in our time together I can count the number of times Juj’s been sick on one hand. So I’m sitting here listening to cicadas and wondering if now, if after all these years, I’m going to need more hands.
So in the next few days we’ll go to that walk-in clinic. A doctor will touch my wife’s breasts while a female nurse and I monitor him. He’ll leave the room while she puts her shirt back on. He’ll come back in, look Juj in these blue eyes and tell her he’s concerned. Code for “I’m scared too.” We’ll have a sonogram. A mammogram. And in the front seat of her white car we’ll read through tears: malignant. We will send out a few dozen text messages. I always text or email, because I can’t say it out loud. This is the first time I’ve uttered out loud these words: my lady has cancer.
Today’s thing is the four and a half centimeter tumor in her right breast, and the one in her lymph node. And this episode is “All of God’s money.”