Jordan and I are on our way home from our girls’ trip to Chicago. Literally, we are on the plane in the air. I’m probably breaking some rules here, but the flight attendants are awfully friendly to me. They must know I have breast cancer.

Chicago was a blast! We met my friend, Andrea, and her daughter, Peyton, and absolutely crushed Chicago at Chicago. We saw every major tourist attraction known to man. I’m going to sleep for the next 4 days.

I didn’t really have time to think about having cancer, and yet, it was always kind of there… hanging in the air. Most of the time, it would end up in bad joke. We’d be waiting for a table at a restaurant and I’d whisper in Andrea’s ear, “Do you think they’d seat us faster if I told them I have breast cancer?” I asked the guy pedaling the bicycle cabs if they had a breast cancer discount. He gave me one.

The only time cancer really caught up with me during the hustle of this vacation was when I got a call from THE JAMES telling me the date they had scheduled my mastectomy. By the way, it’s going to be Tuesday, July 14th, if you’re interested.

Anywho… we had just started digging into our breakfast at a hip cafe when the phone rang. I answered, agreed to the date, and then hung up. Andrea and I locked eyes and I couldn’t keep it in. My eyes started leaking… her eyes started leaking… Jordan’s eyes started leaking and then Peyton, God bless her, said in a totally confused voice, “Is Nicole really that sad she couldn’t get toast?” She had totally missed the conversation and had no idea what we were all upset about. And just like that, we were giggling again and the moment had passed.

Walking through the airport on our way home, I took note of the destinations. Pensacola, San Antonio, Las Vegas, Albany, San Jose, Baltimore. I could run. I could take Jordan and we could just run. We could just pretend cancer and surgeries and breast tumors don’t exist and stay far, far away from THE JAMES. Oh it’s so tempting. And then I remembered that I left my boys at home. Charlie and Ben. And Saul. And more than anything I wanted to run as fast as I could back to my husband who will put his arms around me and let me leak from my eyes and just hold me.

And so I’m on a plane. Heading home. Instead of trying to out-run cancer.