March 01, 2014

The Leading Edge

Laurie Ristino

This Could Kill You

I was sitting in the salon chair getting my hair done when the call came in. I’d been waiting for two days for the biopsy results and wasn’t going to not answer. When the radiologist asked if I wanted to call her back at a better time, I had my answer. And so, I blurted out, as I waved off my hairstylist, “It’s cancer isn’t it?” In her lovely British accent, she said yes and through a rushed conversation in which I tried to assess my chances of survival, I pried from her the reality that the cancer was “fairly” aggressive. With prodding came the assessment: “I won’t lie to you, this could kill you.” I was 47 with two young children. The white noise that came gushing into my ears, a life so carefully built and nurtured, crumbling at my feet.

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