Dear Receptionist at The Surgeon’s Office,

Thank you for listening to my half-questions, my stumbled-over sentences.

Thank you for understanding that asking ‘where should I park?’ is the only way I can control what is happening.

Thank you for laughing with me when I tripped over the word ‘cancer’, as if it was a five-syllable foreign word I had never said before.

Thank you for knowing it was a word I’d never said before.

Thank you for hearing the tears in my voice. Thank you for not putting me on hold, for not rolling your eyes, for not thinking about all the food you had to cook when your entire family came over on Sunday.

Thank you for being so generous and kind.

And I hope that by the end of this month, I never, ever have to talk to you again.

Very sincerely,

The Patient’s Mother

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