Touch: The Journal of Healing



Copyright © 2013

Touch: The Journal of Healing

All rights reserved.

The Discovery

    by Claudia C. Recinos

The moment he walked in the door, he could tell something was wrong.

“What is it?” he asked.

I said nothing, simply took his hand in mine and put it over my left breast.  It would have been erotic, sensual, if it hadn’t been for the fear in my face.  Funny, how fear can take an intimate moment and twist it, shape it, and make it something ugly.

Something less pleasant, but every bit as memorable.

“Do you feel that?” I asked him.

“What is that?  Is that a lump?”

The questions were superfluous.  I could tell by the look on his face that he could feel it.  I could tell by the way he pressed his lips together, the subtle hitch of his breath, the surprised flutter of his eyelids. It wasn’t my imagination.  He felt it too.

I like to think I’m brave.  I like to think that I’m above being hurt, that I roll with the punches and face everything life throws at me with grace and stoicism. But the moment he confirmed that I wasn’t imagining the lump in my breast, I fell apart.  Worst case scenarios came rushing at me, and I allowed myself to drown in them.  Helpless, frightened, and overwhelmed, I sat down, and I cried.

He immediately took over.  He held me, comforted me, reassured me that he loved me.  Then he got online and got as much information as he could.  Not every lump, he told me, meant cancer.  Not every lump was a death sentence.

Still, the possibility hung over me for the next couple of weeks – keeping me company on my drive to work, hovering selfishly in the forefront of my brain when I tried to watch TV, staring back at me when I stepped out of the shower and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.  I obsessed.  Despite his efforts at reassurance, I couldn’t stop picturing life without my breasts, or worse, life without me.  I didn’t want to die.

I put him through hell with my tears, my fears, and my worst case scenarios, and he took everything I threw at him with patience and courage.  He held me gently when I wept, told me goofy stories to distract me, kissed away my fears when he could tell I was starting to spiral out of control.  He was there.  For two weeks, he rarely left my side.

After two long weeks of appointments and ultrasounds, waiting rooms and bated breaths, and probing fingers that took every ounce of restraint to keep from angrily slapping away, I found out I didn’t have cancer.  I had a cyst.  All I had to do was stop drinking five cups of coffee a day and my lump would shrink and fade away.

He smiled when I told him, but he didn’t call me silly or point out how alarmist or pessimistic I’d been for the past two weeks.  He didn’t sulk about the hell I’d put him through.  He pulled me into his arms and kissed the top of my head and told me that he was glad, and then he told me that he loved me.

I stood there, wrapped in his arms, and closed my eyes.  I took a deep breath and hugged him back, holding on tightly to what I’d discovered – that here was a man who would always be there for me – not just be there, but be present, through good times and bad, in sickness and in health.

We married two years later.

©  2012  Claudia C. Recinos

+  previously published on the author’s blog

Claudia Recinos is a wife, a writer, and an avid crocheter.  Her fiction has appeared in Absinthe Revival, and she maintains a personal blog at  She is a stay-at-home mom to a 14-month-old baby boy and does most of her writing in the dark at 4 a.m.