A Lonely Night with My Still Whole Cervix

In less than 48 hours, a chunk of my cervix will be removed by electrified loop, deposited into a vial, and sent to a lab for testing.  My husband is at work and I’ve told him to stay there.  I’m starting to regret this poorly scheduled appointment.  I’m starting to get scared.

I’ve also been musing on death and the after-life, of which I doubt the existence, and yet feel desperate to confirm.  This is a nasty habit of mine.  Other people bite their nails or tap their foot.  I search for God and meaning and sometimes feel such a hollow and inescapable echo in my chest to think of it that I retreat to the ultra-… ultra what?- ultra passive, ultra benign, ultra numb!… zombied state that being American makes me excel at.  I watch marathons of hour-long dramas like Law & Order and House and play Candy Crush.  In these longing and seeking, quiet and contemplative journeys, there comes a point at which my courage at spiritual exploration shrivels and picks up the remote.

My gynecologist has told me twice that my cervix is cute.  The last time she even imitated its voice, high and squeaky like a mouse’s might be.  “I’ve never birthed anything,” it said.  And it’s true, it never has, nor will it ever.  This is by choice, but you know how choices go– there was always another one that wasn’t made.  After Monday, I don’t think “cute” will be the word that comes to mind at seeing my cervix.  “Burnt” maybe, or “corroded,” or “scarred.”  I guess as much as I want to put my head down and charge forth toward getting this behind me, there is a mourning that goes with it that demands my attention, as well.  There is something sad about imagining damage and cob webs on what was once so full of potential life, quite literally.

Life does pass and the wonder only grows, as does the sorrow, and delicious richness of understanding it, and NOT understanding it.  It’s a wonder human beings are able to function at all knowing we don’t know, and its no wonder we can’t navigate all of our depth sometimes.  It’s all an impossibly beautiful and spell-binding world.

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