Cloudy Sky Over Greene & Lombard Streets

Picture of a cloudy sky with patches of blue showing through. Tall buildings are in the background.

Monday’s bike ride took me down the hill to my usual bike racks, another multimodal commute out to UMBC. I left my house at 7:46am, and the temperature was a cool 73 degrees. Expect the humidity was at 98%, and yeah, it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. Even though I was mostly coasting downhill, I was a sweaty mess, completely drenched through and through 23 minutes later as I pulled up on the corner of Shock Trauma, grateful for their aggressive sliding doors that gave me a blast of cool breeze as I walked east to catch the shuttle bus. I looked up as I waited, snapped this pic. That sky, promises of just more damp heat, held in by the clouds.

So yes, this is a post about the weather. It’s summertime in Baltimore, and that means it is hot, humid, and I have to slow my roll. The ride home was so much harder than it usually is, and that’s because my body can’t forget about the heat. It’s trying to get us up the hill while also keeping us cooled down. And it managed to do both of those things.

I’m headed out for my yearly breast MRI this afternoon to see if my breast cancer is back, or if I’ve got a new one. It’s a heavy thing, these six month intervals of life, even as I know how lucky I am to get the intervals between. Cancer is not an invader from the outside. It is your own body, your own cells, a hiccup in their reproduction that makes them just keep on dividing, growing, crowding out the parts of your body you need to stay alive. My body made my cancer, my body survived cancer treatment, and my body makes it up and down the hill, over and over again, no matter the weather. Today my body is all nerves in my stomach, because scans are scary. I don’t want to go back to Cancerland. But I will if I have to, and I’m grateful that this body, the one I’m in right now, the one typing these words, making a lap for this cat, breathing through the roiling belly of nerves, is the one doing this. We have a lot of practice doing hard things. Gratitude.

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