Jesus, Take the Roulette Wheel

Jesus, Take the Roulette Wheel
The guy in front of me at Safeway dropped a can of green beans on the floor, and I jumped out of my skin. I guess you could say I’m a little edgy these days. This Thursday, I’ll know if my deadly disease is back or if I get another six-month reprieve. Living this way, in six-month chunks, is getting to be exhausting. When I finished treatment for triple-negative breast cancer, my doctor told me that for the next five years, I’d have to come every six months for check-ups and mammograms. After that, the chance that my cancer will return plummets. It’s a curious way to live, compelling me to dread the future while celebrating the present. I sometimes wonder: Should I make long-term investments, or should I book a budget-busting trip to Tahiti? I’d love a fruity drink with my husband in one of those over-the-water hotel rooms they show in glossy brochures. But if I make it to old age, I don’t want to subsist on cat food because we blew our savings in paradise. When my appointments come around, I always think of a meeting I had with my doctor right before my first chemo session. He’s a smart guy, but I’ve never figured out why he chose that moment to share my survivability statistics. They’re bleak. At the time, I wondered why I should even bother with chemo. The skull-and-cross-bones labels on those meds don’t inspire a lot of confidence, especially for someone like me. Before cancer,
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