It's four days since they performed my biopsy, so I'm pretty sure that by now somebody somewhere knows exactly what I'm incubating in my lower reaches. But I still don't.
Friends wise in the ways of the Big C tell us that "this is one of the worst parts, the waiting."
I understand that this is a rhetorical statement. Waiting without symptoms is not really to be compared with the actual suffering and incapacity that almost certainly lie ahead.
Yesterday for fun I googled the question "What is chemotherapy like?" and got an overdose of oversharing that made me wince. Sorry I asked.
I did read enough of these harrowing first person accounts to learn that the treatments and individual reactions to them run a long gamut from surprisingly tolerable to Hell on Earth. But none will ever be the national pastime.
I am treating the parallel radiation question as information to be acquired only on a need-to-know basis. Why make the waiting any worse than it already is.
Still, it's impossible in our circumstances not to fret. The questions that preoccupy us most are where we're all going to live while I'm being treated, how long we'll need to be away from home, and how we'll manage it, especially with a toddler who's showing signs of having a hard time dealing with the disruption and stress we're all feeling.
We have long congratulated ourselves on our retirement planning, which called for leaving unaffordable New York City and dividing our time between two highly desirable homes out west, both owned free and clear.
The gods apparently found the irony of forcing us to add a third household right back in Gotham too rich to resist. This time with preschool, and whatever unforeseen medical expense that may fall outside both of my insurance plans.
Right now we're extending what was to have been a short family camp-out in our daughter's Brooklyn apartment. But it's not a sustainable arrangement for any of us.
So Pam has pulled out her old real estate broker's toolkit, and we're also tapping our network of friends and acquaintances who might have or know of space we could rent month to month. Some promising options are taking shape.
The problem is, evaluating them circles us right back to the question of how long we're going to be here at any one time, in which of Sloan-Kettering's many far-flung centers my treatments might be conducted, what my condition during and after is likely to be, whether I could be treated closer to home under protocols designed and initiated here. In other words, all the things I hope to start learning from the biopsy report.
I might get a call from Dr. Singer's office on Monday. But I won't actually see him until Thursday.
This is one of the worst parts, the waiting.