Zebras. Not horses. Zebras.

Dr. Vang called at the close of business yesterday. The Mayo Clinic results were in.

I don’t have cancer.

I asked him about three times whether he was *sure*. I leaned on the wall and I held onto the counter with my free hand and my voice cracked and I said are you sure?

He says I don’t have cancer.

I have some unknown infection that is delaminating my trachea into bloody sloughing sheets, and we have to deal with THAT. But it’s not cancer.

This is a huge relief. Huge relief.

It is also a huge resumption of uncertainty. Uncertainty and I have an antagonistic relationship. It badgers and berates me, and I try to ignore it. Sometimes I can’t ignore it. Sometimes the what-ifs and the unknowns are just too vast to walk past, and then I spend twp hours crying on the couch worrying about the most absurd things.

Everyone had been so nice to me and now it turns out I cried wolf and now everyone will hate me for being a drama queen and also do I need to give back the nice things people gave me now that it turns out it was under false pretenses like the soft pillow my kids got me should I return that to Target and also people sent really nice emails and now I have to answer them and also I was prescribed Lorazepam to deal with the anxiety of having cancer now that I don’t have cancer I guess I better stop taking that.

And then I cried on and off for two hours.

Relief hits people differently.

Also, it was gently pointed out to me that if my response to *not having cancer* was panicked anxiety, maybe I should keep taking the Lorazepram for just a smidge longer, hmm? It’s not like the flight surgeon’s office is giving back my medical clearance any time soon.

In the meantime!

I don’t have cancer.

My throat is still peeling away in chunky gobbets.

I am on Clindamycin, for those of you who like to google people’s medicines, which is some kind of scorched-earth antibiotic.

On Wednesday I go back in and Dr. Vang takes another look and we see what else we need to do.

Thank god for the Mayo Clinc. I am still scared that *they* might be wrong, but I bet they are not.

It was zebras. Zebras, all along.


10 Responses

  1. Oh my god, Sigrid, that is WONDERFUL! I mean, obviously not the bit where your throat is sloughing off, but dude, dude, ZEBRAS!

    We will throw a zebra party.

  2. Well thank goodness for zebras. ❤ I have to say, my reaction to the news is not "you cried wolf!" but is in fact "OH THANK GOODNESS, LET'S THROW A PARTY!" and I suspect other people's will be the same. (And I am sure you know that, but hey, external reinforcement never hurts.)

  3. Wonderful news, Sigrid.

  4. Very glad to hear this news! “Crying wolf” when there’s a large canine at the door is nothing to be ashamed of. 🙂 Now take it easy on yourself and try to relax and heal as much and as quickly as possible!


    I read this whole thing. I hope treatment for your throat follows swiftly and thoroughly.


  6. I’m tearily grateful for this news.

    Clindamycin. Dang.

  7. Huzzah for zebras! Oh thank goodness.

  8. I just teared up in delight. I’m waiting for everybody else to finish their tests, but I wasn’t too then to them all and let them know how under valued I think zebras as a species really are.

    The only gifts you should return based on this news are hugs and happy thoughts.

  9. Let’s hear it for unexpected good news. Hooray!

    Maybe it would help to know that all of the worry and stress of this process of back and forth diagnosis was perfectly real and that you also deserve your community’s support for THAT. Then and now.

    I hope you and your doctors find a speedy resolution to the infection soon. I am also very glad it is a zebra, and hope that the care and feeding of that beast is an easier path.

    As for the pillow, only keep it if it reminds you of how caring and hopeful everyone was for you. I’m pretty sure that was the whole point.

  10. Keep the fluffy pillow! Take the drugs a bit longer, being sick is stressful! And if all it took to have it not be cancer was for people to send nice emails and presents, that’s awesome. p.s. If you take anything back to Target you just end up spending more money anyway, it’s not worth it.

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