"We got the biopsy results on those moles," she said, "and there is some bad news. The biopsy shows a combination of a Strep virus and skin cancer."
I was startled and more than a little horrified that there could be nastiness growing in my face. She reassured me that chemotherapy was not required, and outlined a complicated program which involved (among other things) heat, electrolysis, scraping, and ozone. I wordlessly took notes on a piece of scrap paper.
I was frightened and upset, trying to communicate the news to M while getting additional information out of the doctor on the phone. "How bad is it, how long will it take?"
As the conversation concluded, I started getting confused. Wait, I had those moles removed from my face over two years ago. Why were they only being biopsied now?
Later that night we went to sleep after agonizing over my situation. I woke up when his alarm went off, got up on one elbow so I could see him, and said, "I keep hoping it was just a bad dream."
"I can see how you'd feel that way," he agreed, getting out of bed. But we both looked to the left side of the bed where the sheet of paper with my hand-written notes and his suggestions lay. The physical evidence of the evening's news was still there. He went to start getting ready for work, and I closed my eyes again.
I woke up when his alarm went off, and he got out of bed. I looked to the left side of the bed where the sheet of paper with my hand-written notes and his suggestions lay.
It wasn't there.
"I think I was having a bad dream," I said. He looked at me in the dark. "I woke up, and I told you I wished it had all been a bad dream, and you said you understood why I'd want that, but it was real.
"But that didn't happen, right? You didn't say that?"
"No, that didn't happen. You don't have to worry," he added, puzzled in his sleepiness. "I love you, now try to go back to sleep."