SWORDFERN
Rooted, I used to think.

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Giving Notice - Friday, Sept. 29, 2017
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Rupert Part II - Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017


Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016 @ 2:29 pm
Normal/120.6



Cancer.

I do not have cancer.

The bloodwork, the cells floating around in my body. Low, yes, but it's fine. Apparently it's fine. Seems strange to me, but I have no choice but to trust her.

She sent me to a dermotologist. I bypass a nine month waiting list by calling to tell the admin lady that I can be there with a 20 minute warning, filling in for any last minute no-show. The next day she takes me up on my offer.

Wandering between buildings on the campus of the city hospital, a ramshackle mix of architecture styles. I go into the skin care centre, and it's like a devotional church to the skin. Floor upon floor of different study and treatment centres. The elevator old with brass buttons, surprisingly quick to move between floors.

The dermatologist enters. He is seasoned and expert, and I can tell instantly why he has an interminable waiting list. He is followed by an impossibly young and beautiful student, her skin pliant and supple, her hair glossy and shot through with blonde, her eyes green, with slightly chipped pale pink nail polish - the only crack in her professional facade.

After taking my medical history, they leave me to undress. I forgot about this part, and I become self conscious of my poorly fitting bra and mismatched underwear.

The student knocks gently and enters alone. She begins to perform a full body scan. I can tell that she has not done this many times before. She gingerly holds my hand as she views up and down my arm. She moves the gown from my shoulders and views the length of my back, pulling my underwear away to see to the base of my spine.

She's nearly done when the doctor returns. He performs the same procedure, firmly gripping my hand and pulling it to extend my arm, turning, and repeating the process in a practiced and methodical way, folding my gown away in portions to preserve my modesty in the standard draping practice.

Afterwards, he sits across from me to discuss my options. It could go either way, really, my mole. It's not dangerous yet but could become as such. I opt to keep it and monitor it, a grenade with the pin intact, a buried landmine.

I leave the office, and the sun in shining and the daffodils are blooming and the air is rich with the warm smell of humus. The sun is bursting from my chest, and my thin blood is flowing freely in my ropey veins.

I take my time returning to work, savouring the taste of being cancer-free. My appreciation for life pushing the limits of my emotions; I would start skipping and buying everyone flowers in a manic frenzy if my sanity were less secure.

Back at the office, I am taken into the meeting room referred to as the Bat Cave. Former elevator shaft, the brick walls extend high to the wooden rafters. I don't know what's coming - this engineer rarely talks to me, and he seemed so serious.

Instead, it's phenomenal news. My profit sharing cheque. A huge amount, more than six times the amount from last year. He tells me that my performance was top notch, that I am responsible for boosting the profitability numbers from our branch this year, that I earned a compliment from a man who never gives compliments.

I call Daniel. We both leave work early, to spend a rare weekday afternoon together enjoying the sun.

I'm alive and successful and happy, and everything is coming together in a way that I never dreamed.

And I'm off the pill. But not for that reason.


Roots | Shoots