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  • Writer's pictureDana Starr

Stayin' Alive

This is scary. I'm sitting in the doctor's office waiting to hear my fate. I've been waiting an hour and a half already and I'm irritated, but mostly I'm scared. And hungry. I'm always hungry, but that's another story. I was told last week that I'd be meeting with the physician's assistant today to go over the results of the biopsies on my Northern and Southern hemispheres; however, when I walked in the door this morning, only four minutes late, I was informed that I would be talking to the doctor. "Oh hell, what does that mean?" I asked the not very friendly receptionist who just stared at me with a blank look on her face. I could sense that she wasn't really feeling me, so I just took a couple of pieces of chocolate out of the cute little candy dish on the counter and sat my fat butt down with the twenty million other people waiting to see the doctor too. As luck would have it, 85% of the people were coughing and sneezing and farting and just generally really bugging me. Plus, I had hell getting the wrappers off the little chocolates. I finally just ate the last chocolate with some of the wrapper still on it. I'm a little scared. A little anxious. A little nervous. I eat when I'm like this. Also, I eat when I'm happy, bored, excited, disappointed, etc. etc. etc.

Finally, after being coughed on and sneezed on and farted on and forced to watch Kelly Ripa being too damn perky on the very large TV hanging on the wall, my name was called to move from the big waiting room to a little room where I've been waiting and getting more and more anxious. At least I'm alone and no longer getting coughed, sneezed, or farted on, and mercifully I got away from Kelly Ripa. I can hear the doctor's voice. He is talking to someone who is refusing to get a colonoscopy because of the prep. Wow. I can be stubborn too, but it's hard to believe that a person would neglect their health just because the prep is a bit unpleasant. I wonder how long I'm going to have to sit here. It's like I want to know the news, but I don't want to know. Damn, the lady in the room next to me is crying loudly. I'm full blown scared now and so is she. I watched her walk in there by herself. I need to get up and go in her little room and give her a big hug, but I won't because I'm not really a hugger. I told The Spousal Unit not to come with me because I thought this would be no thing, but now I'm convinced that THIS IS A THING. A very big thing. Did I already tell you that I'm scared?

I don't want to be here. I want to be in my cozy house eating pancakes and bacon, listening to Norah Jones, and watching the geese on the lake beat the shit out of each other. I can't be sick. I'm going to participate in a writer's workshop in a few months and it's already paid for. I can't be sick. The Spousal Unit and I will be going to Iceland to see amazing sights in a few months and it's already paid for. I can't be sick. I'm going to get to see Norah Jones in June with my girlfriends and one of them already bought my ticket. I can't be sick. I finally got tickets to see Hamilton in New York in October and it's already paid for. I can't be sick. I'll also be spending time with my soul sister at the end of October and we haven't even started planning it yet. I can't be sick.

I don't want to be here. The lady in the room next to me is still crying. I feel like I'm going to start crying any second now. I'd say I'm just hormonal, but I no longer have hormones, so I know it's just anxiety making me feel this way because there are still so many things I need to do. I still need to meet my future grandchildren and stick my face into their necks and breathe deeply. I still need to know how Jack meets his fate on This Is Us and if Daryl and Carol are ever gonna hook up on The Walking Dead because I still kinda want that and if Andy is ever going to give Sharon a real kiss on Major Crimes because I still kinda want that too. Plus, there are still so many songs I haven't heard yet, and books I haven't read yet, and cocktails I haven't drank yet, and countries I haven't visited yet, and interesting people I haven't met yet. And, good times with my boys and other family members that I haven't had yet. And, long leisurely wine-soaked dinners with friends. And, I'm wearing my big girl granny panties, so nothing bad can happen to me in my big girl granny panties. I can't be sick.

I don't want to be here. The doctor just walked in the door followed by two baby doctors. I have to stop typing now.

I'm not sick. I don't have cancer. I'm so relieved I start crying. I'm so relieved I don't even care I'm crying and snot is all over my face and I'm kind of scaring the baby doctors. I'm so relieved I can't even think of all the questions I was going to ask the doctor before he told me I'm going to be just fine despite the polyps he removed. I have to do all this again a year from now, but that's fine because I'm fine and I'm very much ALIVE and I'm going to do all the things. I fully realize while I was learning I'm fine, thousands and thousands of people were learning they're not fine and millions and millions of people are living with not fine every single day. I want to hug them all even if just the thought of hugging one person makes me highly uncomfortable. I want them to do all the things too while they still can.

Please STAY ALIVE. Please get the screenings. Please get the pap smears and the mammograms and the prostate exams and the colonoscopies, even if you're (literally) full of crap like me. I'm alive and so are you, my friends, SO ARE YOU!!!!!

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