Powerful piece of writing from BoingBoing’s Xeni Jardin, describing how she learned she has breast cancer. Excerpt:

Another woman came in, and held my hand. Dr. Funk shot the biopsy gun in the air first so I wouldn’t be afraid of the sound. That’s when the shaking started and my heart started pounding.

I cried, but someone else was doing the crying, someone else was doing the shaking, someone else was lying there, and now the gun was diving in to someone else’s flesh to bring back rock samples from outer space for the lab to analyze.

The shaking didn’t stop. I tried to dial the people I loved on my iPhone with one hand while the assistant held down my other arm, pushing cotton into the place where the probe dove in for samples, where blood was now coming forth.

My fingers were cold and shaking, and I couldn’t hit the numbers on the screen. When I finally got through, someone else’s voice was coming out of my mouth, and it was taking forever for the stuttery radio transmissions to beam through space, from the cold planet I was lost on, way out here, far from home.

I remember telling my sister goodbye in February 2010, maybe a week after her cancer diagnosis. She looked like her normal self. It was hard to believe these things that were probably going to kill her were growing inside her body. The next time I saw her, two months had passed. She had had lots of radiation, and was on heavy chemotherapy. She looked horrible. Body badly bloated. Voice barely there. Breathing labored. It all came so fast. And she was never well again. But she was always, always loved. That’s not nothing.