Ryann and I settled into our seat, next to a lovely salt and pepper haired lady. She smiled and talked to Ryann while I grabbed snacks and books to entertain her on the flight.
Her name was Jane, she told me of her travels back and forth to Massachusetts to spend time with her grand children. We exchanged baby stories and our dislike of Tampa traffic. It wasn’t long into our conversation when she shared with me her daughter’s story of a double mastectomy and the dreaded C word. Cancer. Jane sandwiched her story with the good parts and finished on a high note. Remission. Cancer free and quality time with grand kids.
Just days before my flight I sat in a pink gown, braless, waiting for a mammogram. At age 29. The lump I thought could only be a cyst, was a solid mass and needed further investigation.
I shared my story with Jane, she was kind and listened to my worries and fears. She said she’d pray all will be well and reassured me that if it was cancer, it wasn’t a death sentence. I chuckled and thought I was silly for worrying about possibly having cancer.
Ryann was fast asleep in my arms, I tuned out to a talk show on the JetBlue in flight satellite television and nibbled on my snack. Interrupted by the captain, we were nearing Boston’s Logan Airport, Jane leaned over with a paper folder in half. She wanted a phone call when I got my results, she said it was important to her. I tucked into a small pouch in my bag and we parted ways.
Fifteen days later as I packed for our extended weekend trip to Charlotte I heard a crinkling sound as I shoved my charger into that same small pouch. I unzipped it and remembered my trip sixteen days earlier, where I sat next to a salt and pepper haired woman. And I thought, I need to call her.
Just the day before I received the phone call I’d been waiting for, one word would change it all. Benign or malignant. A biopsy done six days earlier would give me an answer, that answer was on the other end of that call.
I need to call Jane.