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[story] Adventures of Hannah episode 12

Episode 12

Joe paused in the hallway as he shut the door

to

his son’s room. He should have pushed harder

earlier, asked the right questions. He thought.

Ben has briefed him about his misery and grief

concerning the death of his mother.

He walked slowly to the living room. Hannah

was

on the couch and she looked up when he

entered.

“How’s he doing?”

“He’s asleep.”

“Don’t give yourself a hard time,” she said

quietly. “You’re a great dad, JOe. One of the

best.

But you are not a mind reader.

“You didn’t know him before the accident. I

should have seen it was something more than

Beth dying.”

“Tell me, how is a grieving kid supposed to

act?

Blaming yourself isn’t going to get anyone

anywhere or do Ben any favours, by the way.”

“Really?”

“Really.”

“I love you, Hannah,” he whispered.

She went very still.

“somehting wrong?” he asked.

“No. You just keep taking me by surprise, that’s

all.”

She wanted to say it…..but still couldn’t .

“You mean it’s a surprise to you that I’m crazy

about you?”

“Yes. NO. You know what I mean. I’ve been

biding my time, trying to find the right

opportunity, the right moment, and you just

threw it out there…..”

She stared at him for a moment. Then she

took a

deep breath, her eyes very serious as she

looked

into his, “I love you, JOe. Happy now?”

“Yes.”

He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her

close.

She smiled and lay her head back on his chest.

“I’m just going to close my eyes for a few

minutes. Do not let me fall asleep. Because I

can’t stay the night yet. Not until Ben is

absolutely okay with all of this.”

He smiled to himself. Right now he had Hannah

in his arms,even if for a few hours. It was

enough

to be going on with. “I won’t. I know.” he said.

********************************************

Six weeks later after Ben’s big blowup.

Christmas

was just around the corner. Hannah convinced

her mother to help her go shopping for Ben,

Ruby and Joe. She had tasked Ben and Ruby to

write down a list for her. And Ruby insisted that

she is over dolls but Hannah knew better. She

smiled as she remembered Ben’s earnestness

as

he handed over his list to her. He’d been seeing

a

counselor for about a month and the change in

him was nothing short of miraculous. It was

though a huge burden has been lifted from his

shoulder — which, of course, it had. Best of all

was when he looked at her, or laughed at her

jokes, or came over to help her around the

house.

“Hannah , over here. Come and look at this

one.”

Hannah looked up and saw her mother in the

women’s department, a flashy red bra and

p@ntie

set dangling from one hand.

“Mom, we’re not shopping for me, or you, for

that matter,” she said.

“It’s so beautiful, Hannah,” her mother called

again. “At least come and look at it. If I had

your

figure I’d buy it in a snap.”

She collected it and checked the price tag.

“Jeez

Mom, No way am I paying so much for so

little.”

“I’ll buy it for you. My chritmas present to

you.”

her mother gave Hannah a wink.

Hannah was a little embrassed about how much

she was looking forward to Christmas day.

They

were going to have a big sit-down dinner with

her mother, Joe, the kids and his mother.

Between them, she and her mom and JOe’s

mom

were going to cook the meal. It was going to

be a

real family day, her first christmas with JOe.

She fumbled with the bra straps until they were

comfortable. She laughed a little when she saw

how s*xy** the bra looked when it was on.

“Oh, Hannah. Isn’t it wonderful. Joe will love it.

Not another word. I’m buying it,” her mother

insisted.

Hannah shrugged. She reached behind her to

undo the clasp and felt a stab of pain near her

left armpit.

“Ow!” she pulled the bra off.

“Give it to me and I’ll take it to the register,”

her

mother said.

Hannah frowned as she felt something small

and

firm beneath her fingers.

“What’s wrong?” her mother asked.

Hannah met her mother’s eyes in the mirror.

“There’s a lump.”

The smile faded from her mother’s eyes. “Are

you

sure?”

“Yes. It’s probably nothing.

“Let me feel. I have more experience with this

than you. My b0s0ms are twenty five years

older

than yours.”

Hannah sighed and turned. “Can you feel it.?

“Yes.”

Her mother was frowning now, “When did you

check your b0s0ms last?”

“I don’t know. Five months ago? Six?”

“I want you to get this checked out, Hannah”

“Fine. I”ll go see Dr. Nelson.”

Her mother pulled out her cell phone. “I’ll see if

she can fit you in tomorrow.”

Hannah listened as her mother spoke to the

receptionist at the medical centre, making an

apppointment.

“Happy not?” she asked when her mother

ended

the call.

“Not yet. But I will be.”

********************************************

The next day, Hannah greeted her doctor with a

smile. She explained about finding the lump.”I

feel silly even mentioning this,” she said.

“Why don’t you step behind the screen and take

your bra and top off and we’ll take a look.”

Hannah lay down and Dr. Nelson stepped

toward

the examination table.

“sorry if my hands are cold,” she said before

laying her hands on Hannah’s b0s0m.

“Okay, it’s definetely a lump. But do you feel

any

Pain when I press it.?

“No, not at all. That’s good, right?”

Dr. Nelson smiled. In most cases it’s not painful

in younger women.

Hannah frowned. “So is it good or bad that I

have no pain?”

“i suspect it’s neither here nor there. I’m just

going to check your lymph nodes.”

Hannah lay still as Dr. Nelson checked her

armpit

and neck, then examined her left b0s0m.

“Well, Hannah, I’m going to send you for an

ultrasound. There’s not doubt that this lump is

new and therefore worthy of investigation.”

“Okay. When should i book the test?”

“I’ll ask my receptionist to arrange one for you

with a radiologist we know.

Hannah dressed in a daze, her cold hands

fumbling with the catch on her bra. She’d

expected to be reassured and sent home, not

sent off for tests. She waited in the reception

area for the receptionist to get off the phone

with

the radiologist.

“They can see you tomorrow morning. How is

that.”

“That should be fine.” Hannah said.

She went back to work and spent the evening

watching DVDs with Ruby and Ben. She hustled

the kids to bed at eight thirty, aware they had

school the next day. Ben wanted to read for a

little while and she left him to it, figuring he’d

probably pass out with his book in his hand and

she could go in twenty minutes and turn the

light out.

Joe came home late. Tired and smelling of

beer

andcigarette smoke. It seemed pointless to tell

him what happened at the medical centre.So

instead she went home to stare at the ceiling

and count the hours till morning.

********************************************

The radiologist was a friendly older woman

who

patiently expalined the ultrasound procedure for

Hannah before asking her to UnCloth and lie on

a

table with her arm behind her head. Cool gel

was

smoothed over Hannah’s skin and the

ultrasound

wand pressed against her b0s0m.

“There is an unusual mass” the radiologist said

slowly.

Hannah had to swallow before she could speak

again. “Is it cancer?”

“I’m afraid I can’t tell you that just by looking.

We need to take a biopsy. But we can do that

now.”

Hannah nodded dumbly.

The radiologist started to assemble a tray with

needles and other medical tools, she used the

ultrasound to target the lump in Hannah’s

b0s0m

and then drew some cells out of it using a fine

needle and smeare it onto a glass plate.

“These go off to the lab not. You should have

the

results within forty-eight hours.”

More waiting. Hannah tried to smile but

failed.She dressed slowly and rode to the

garage.

For the rest of the day she threw herself into

her

work, trying to drive fear and uncertainty away

through sheer willpower.

She was inspecting a Range Rover the

following

morning day when her phone vibrated in her

pocket. She closed her eyes when she heard

the

Doctor’s voice. There was no reason for her

doctor to call her before her scheduled

appointment tomorrow afternoon unless there

was bad news.

“Hannah, I’d like you to come in today if

possible.” Dr. Nelson said. Her voice was calm

but serious.

A great fear filled up inside Hannah. “Yes. I

think

so. I need to talk to my boss.”

Hannah ended the call. She felt dizzy. Her

stomach was light; it was hard to breathe.

She had cancer. That was the only reason Dr.

Nelson could possibly want her to come in so

urgently.

She took permission and her boss gave her the

afternoon off. She rode to the clinic.

“As you’ve probably guessed, your tests have

come back positive Hannah. It’s the most

common form of b0s0m cancer. Basically, it

means the cancer started in one of your milk

ducts and has spread into the surrounding

b0s0m tissue.”

“Am I going to die?”

“You’re young, the lump is small. You have

every

chance of surviving.” Dr. Nelson said.

Hannah stared at her. She’d been looking for a

one word response — NO. she hadn’t gotten it.

“Hannah, is there someone I can call for you?

Maybe someone who can come and give you a

lift home?”

Joe’s face filled her mind and her eyes flooded

with tears. “I’ll be fine. I just need to get my

head together.”

“Are you sure?:”

“Yes.”

“I’m referring you to an excellent surgeon.

He

works at the Faith Care Hospital in the city.

He’s

very highly regarded.”

By the time she left the doctor’s office she had

an appointment to see a surgeon on MOnday

of

the following week.

Posted by on February 15, 2019.

Categories: /Literature/Stories

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