Breast Cancer, “Okay”

Breast Cancer Symbols Clip Art 28My friends told me after my doctor’s visit that it’ll be “Okay.” Interesting word with ambiguous meanings. “Okay,” as in it’s minor or “Okay,” handle it when you know the results? Tomorrow I’ll know the results.

Know? It’s been four days until the results are in and until then it’s been four days of my saying, “Okay” to myself while not believing one letter of that thrown-away word, or is it?

“So, okay,” I say to myself. Am I using that word as resignation or as my friend’s hopeful usage? “Okay,” I also say to myself since I’ve been there before and now may go through that vortex once again. This time, three new doctors since my previous three have retired from knowing my body and I have not. Three new perspectives, along with more tests and varying opinions about my prognosis. And is “prognosis” a result of hope or the reading of my last testament? And, what timeline is linked to that word? Is it that predictable “six months,” doctors always say, that can extend into long months for insurance purchases, or is it a reality that may be even less?

It’s funny (lightly used) because I feel “okay” right now but that test showed otherwise. It’s been twenty years since it occurred and was treated. It appears to be happening again, now. There are so many things I want to do with no limits about time yet this stupid visit tomorrow may reduce those years and days into only months. One appointment at a scheduled time. My friend’s all said, “It’ll be ‘okay’” because it’s either a nice thing to say or the only thing to say something when something shown on a test wasn’t seen again for many years.

For four days I’ve thought of things sixty years ago as well as not remembering what I ate last night. The former is so much clearer than the latter. Since my retirement, I’ve ventured into several fields, both spiritually and professionally. I’ve been enriched by each endeavor hopefully touching many lives along the way. My keen interest now is getting young people to vote. Shouldn’t be such a stretch in a democratic society where voting is the most basic of our beliefs, but it is. “Please sign up and make your vote count and everything will be ‘okay,’” says me. Voting is the next day, and I will be there, and my doctor’s vote is given to me tomorrow.


It’s a day before my doctor’s visit, and I really do feel ‘okay.’ The vortex is no stranger to me, and, if necessary, I’ll submerge myself once again. It’s simply but powerfully that I am “okay.” I’ve always been “okay” and this is no different.

I say, “Go ahead and put that pebble in my sock.” I don’t mind because my friends said that, “I’ll be okay.”

I thanked them for their concern and sympathies, but I already know that “I am ‘okay.’”


About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
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