First, it was the pulmonary mass in the x-ray result, it's inconclusive, they say. The realist in me wants to scream the big C but the eternally-hopeful-all-rainbows-and-butterflies me wants to reject it. Besides, it's too early to tell. So we followed the family doctor's in-denial advice to check for other pulmonary diseases. There was a slight improvement but the second x-ray is still showing the mass. Now we go for the more reliable CT Scan.
The result still screams pulmonary mass and the doctor is asking for a biopsy.
How can that be when two years ago your lungs were clear? I can't help but remember the benign mass in your thyroid. Which makes me hopeful that this is benign, too. It could be your incessant smoking since high school, no matter if you already stopped more than a decade ago (note to self: stop smoking). I remember you always complaining about back pains. All these trivial things that I did not mind.
Yours were the strong arms that held me. Now you are so skinny, although not quite skin and bones yet. Your face is now gaunt but that doesn't distort how I see you, you were always handsome. Why do you ask for me before you go for any major medical decision? Why do I have to share that burden? Why do you show me that you are weak and need me to be by your side? It's sweet, I know. It makes me love you more, you always showed me your love.
Papang, be strong. I know you are. That's why I am strong, too. Ever since I was a little boy, you made me feel physically secure. Now that you are fearful, I am too. But I will make you feel secure. With our prayers. With my love. Our love for you will help calm you. The only thing that needs to be done is to say it out loud. I still am hoping that it's not the big C. But I can't help it, I want to cry.
Can I cry now?