I can’t honestly say that I’m like that normally. If someone bumps into me on the tube, stops suddenly in front of me in the middle of the pavement or trolley-barges me in the supermarket, I’m not exactly likely to put up my fists. (That said, I turn into The Hulk when people forget to indicate/won't stick to their own lane/fail to wave thank-you when you’ve given way. With the security of 4,000 pounds of encased aluminium, I’m a foul-mouthed, badass bitch.)
But while I’m far from a timid wallflower, that degree of kick-ass isn’t something I normally possess. Much like Peter Petrelli’s abilities, it’s a power that only presents itself when absolutely necessary. It came in handy when I had to force myself out of the door for chemo on a Friday morning. It helped when P and I had to suck it up and get on with baby-making after our second miscarriage. And it showed up in spectacular style when I caught an especially rubbish boyfriend in bed with his ex.
I’ve been thinking a lot about ex-boyfriends lately, as it goes. Not like that – more in the sense of wondering, if I’d still been with any of my few ex-boyfriends today, how they’d have handled The Bullshit. And, in the nicest possible way (well, not in the case of Cheating Ex), I’m afraid there’s only one answer: dreadfully.
I am, of course, inconceivably lucky to be able to call myself P’s wife for more reasons than just his dependability, support and calmness in the face of The Bullshit. (He also happens to be compassionate, sexy, hilarious, sweet-smelling and generally down-right wonderful.) But how fortunate that, in light of the stuff that he and I have had to deal with, he is indeed all of those things.
I’ll say it again: the news we’ve had recently is NOT a cancer diagnosis. But, like I also said last week, there are undoubtedly parallels between learning that you have cancer and discovering that you have up to an 80% chance of getting it again. And so, much like I was in June 2008, now that I’ve brushed aside my fears and am existing purely on kick-ass, I’m back to worrying about how everybody else is handling this. Particularly P.
Much like mine, his initial reaction to The Gene News was very emotional. (He won’t thank me for saying that.) But also in resemblance with each other’s early responses to my dodgy genes are our feelings about the way we’re going to handle them. First off, there’s no option for us but to deal with this together. (Last week, P even talked about ‘when we got cancer’, and I loved him that little bit more for it.) And, though it’s wholly pre-emptive thinking – given that our appointment with the oncologist isn’t for two weeks – we’re each of the opinion that whatever it takes to reduce my chances of a cancer recurrence, we’ll do it. Hell, even if it meant chopping off an arm or locking myself in a light-starved room with only What Katie Did Next for comfort, I dare say I’d go for it. It might not come to more surgery, of course. (Mind you, that’s probably like the ‘might’ in ‘you might not get breast cancer again’.) But if it does, we’re ready. Or, at least, I am. And that’s what I mean by worrying about P.
See, before I had my left tit removed, I was concerned about what it would be like for P to have somehow found himself lumped with a one-breasted reproductive-vacuum of a wife. But now, The Gene News has pushed things one step further. Because what we’re looking at today is the prospect of not just losing my right tit, too, but potentially also my ovaries and/or womb. And that, I’m sure you’ll agree, does not a hot wife make.
Personally, I like to think that my ladybits aren’t the things that make me a woman. (Don’t hold me to that just yet, mind. That’s a concept I intend to dedicate a lot of thought to. Prepare yourself for the return of Mr Marbles.) But does the same apply for P? Might he wish that I looked different? What effect might the loss of my girly essentials have on our sex life? Might it be like new year’s eve without the fireworks? Hell, might ‘new year’s eve’ even be possible at all? Thus you see what I mean about being grateful that it’ll be P – dependable, supportive, calm P – who’ll have to deal with those things. But of course at the same time I’m not grateful at all. I’m cross. Because nobody deserves to have to deal with that shit less than him.
So can I see Cheating Ex being able to handle all that? Can I bollocks. Can I see P being able to handle it? Course I can. Because the thing is, P's kick-ass powers rival even his wife’s.