The Phone Call

The phone rings.

I don’t recognize the number, but the area code is right. I answer.


“Hi Mr. L****…it’s Doctor W***. I just wanted to tell you…I took a look, and it’s definitely Leukemia.”


“I went ahead and called a doctor in the city, her name is Gail Roboz. I want you to make an appointment to see her on Monday. They’re expecting your call.”


I make the call. The receptionist expected me. I put the phone down. I look at it. I look up at my computer screen. Phone again. I take off my glasses, put my head in my hands, and I take a breath. I look back at the phone. There’s a call I need to make, but I don’t want to.

Tears happen. I don’t really notice.

I open a tab on my computer, and type “leukemia survival rates”. 2 minutes later, I turn my computer off.

I pick up the phone, and dial my mom. I don’t really know what I said, or how she responded, but I hear the pain.

The rest of the night is a blur. I think my family came over shortly after I heard the news, but I honestly couldn’t tell you if it was then or the next morning. Realistically, I can only say those are the only two possibilities because I know my family wouldn’t have waited longer.

I’m pretty sure they were there. I’m pretty sure I watched TV. I think I ate.

But all in all, that was probably the worst night of my entire life.

But where to go from there? How does one move past that? How do you deal with that kind of news? How do you mentally prepare yourself for the ordeal you know you’ll have to deal with?

I slept an hour or two that night. I woke up to my phone alerting me that it was time to leave for my Triathlon. I hit snooze, rolled over, and felt a few tears fall down my face.

The rest of the weekend was mainly spent waiting, dreading, trying not to cry or break down. I can’t say that I succeeded, but I’m still standing. Technically, all of that happened over 5 days, but in my head, that will forever remain as one event.

Hopefully, though, that will remain the worst night of my life for a long time to come.


  1. […] to the first diagnosis. It’s pretty raw, though I’m proud of the writing. It’s here. You can also find more reactions and dealing with the implications here and […]

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