It was either no news or bad news. If no news, Tracey wouldn't have disturbed me. If bad news, she would also have waited till I got up. I imagined if it were good, she would have come in the moment she knew the light was on.
So, one or the other of the first two. I really expected us to hear something, so it didn't augur well. I lay there for some time.
For the first time in this entire affair, I felt very nervous.
It may seem strange, but this was somehow a comfort. I have always wondered about my abnormal state of mind about it all – a calmness that meant, once the tumour was diagnosed in December 2009, either that I had in some miraculous way accepted all that was to come, or that I was refusing to accept the reality staring me in the face all this time.
The latter is not a pleasant thought, because it means that it would hit sometime, very hard, and the whole edifice of apparent acceptance would come crashing down.
So I was nervous. I washed my face carefully, combed my hair and shaved, as if I would be greeting some stranger when I emerged from the bedroom.
I went out, and Tracey and Christian were in the lounge, talking quietly. The fire makes it beautifully warm in there. I take a deep breath and enter the lounge.
It's quick. "No news." It was after five o'clock, so there would be no news from Oncology.
I felt a rush of relief. Too much relief, as it meant that I didn't want to face what may come. I wanted an adjournment. But, I thought as I stood there, it meant also that if the news were bad, I really wouldn't need to know till we had to. I was calmed by the reassurance of knowing nothing.
A nice self-deception.
I suppose when you imagine facing your worst fear, there's a limit to how truly you can do that. Imagining facing a lion in the Coliseum may be terrifying, but nothing, absolutely nothing like the reality.
Still, as I write this, we don't know, but even before I get it up here on the blog the phone might ring. For some reason I badly want to post this before we know.
I feel calm again. Writing this has settled me. Whether it's acceptance or denial, I guess we'll really see this time, but it's certain at least that I feel less assured.
Maybe that's good. Who knows? Tata kim, we might say in Sanskrit. What use?