It’s in the nature of pseudonymous blogging to be a little impersonal, and although this blog has always been about what I think, it hasn’t—with one prominent exception I can think of—been about my life. I don’t want that to change, but there are a few things I need to say.

First, Breast Cancer Awareness Month was not an abstract concept around our house this year.

Second, my wife is a lot braver in the face of uncertainty than I could be. Various tests, preliminaries, and delays stretched out the time between diagnosis and surgery to two full months. I don’t know how she kept it together that long.

Third, I’m not a good enough writer to describe the emotions I felt when the surgeon came to me in the waiting room and said, “The lymph nodes were clear.” There was relief, of course, so deep my hands shook as I tapped out texts to send the good news to family and friends. But there was also the frustration and sense of unfairness that came from knowing that my wife would be the last to know. The surgeons wouldn’t be around to tell her the good news when she woke up in recovery. The hospital staff in the recovery area wouldn’t know and wouldn’t be allowed to tell her even if they did. I could tell her, of course, but wouldn’t be allowed to see her for hours. Those hours seemed as long as the previous two months.

Finally, it’s not over. The worst is over, we think, and there’s no reason to believe the results of the detailed biopsy will change that. But some of the post-operative treatment will take months and some will take years. Our daughter will have to be more vigilant. All our lives will slowly go back to normal, but it’ll be a new normal.