Monday, September 21, 2009 

A few days after I returned home from my April 7, 2009 cancer surgery, I was the recipient of a huge bad luck omen.  I was standing in my master bathroom and the 8′ x 4′ mirror on the wall above the sinks fell.  Yep – just like that – it fell.  There was no  earthquake, I didn’t throw anything at it and there was no warning.  It just fell right off the wall and shattered.

It occurred to me that a mirror breaking involved something like seven years bad luck.  I considered the size of the mirror compared to an average mirror and thought that I might possibly to have garnered 168 years bad luck.  At my age, I didn’t think that I had to be concerned about 110 of those years. But, given scientific advances and such, I could conceivably live for the remaining 58 bad luck years.

I looked around at the mess.  Glass shards were everywhere.  I watched as my black cat, Loki, walked into the room.  I scooped him up so he wouldn’t get glass in his feet. I realized that I was holding a BLACK CAT in my arms…my black cat.  I calculated quickly.  Loki came to me when he was only four weeks old and he was nearly nine years old now.  I’ve been living with bad luck for almost nine years!  No wonder I had a broken mirror the size of a wall.

I mean, wasn’t I pushing the envelope living with a black cat?  Now the mirror. What next? I thought about the foot I broke a few years ago.  Then I remembered the broken elbow. Did this have anything to do with my recklessness concerning my black cat?  It struck me – I was now dealing with cancer! Was Loki involved in this? If a black cat could cause broken bones and cancer, what would the mirror do???  I knew it.  I was going to die. Did I mention that having  radical hysterectomy can affect rational thought?

While the guys cleaned up all the glass in the bathroom, I sat in the living room feeling worse and worse as the minutes went by. Was it the cat or the mirror?  Did it really matter which one it was?

I told my sister that I was in a lot of pain.  That I hadn’t felt this bad earlier that day and I was sure something was dreadfully wrong with me (other than cancer and the surgery).  She asked me what time I had gotten up and dressed that morning.  I told her that I was dressed by 8:00 AM.  It was now 5:00 PM – so what?  Where was she going with this? She shook her head and said “What made you think that wearing four inch heels just a few days after major surgery was a good idea?”

I was dumbfounded! What was she talking about? What did my shoes have to do with anything? I explained that I was probably dying from black cat and broken mirror syndrome. She didn’t believe me.  She had this idea that the high heels were putting undo strain on my back and on the incision I had in my abdomen.  I explained that my pants where too long so I had to wear four inch heels. She said I was stupid.  She made me take off my shoes.  I wasn’t happy about that – I loved those shoes.

Shockingly, the pain started easing up. I tried to pretend that I still felt really bad.  It didn’t work.  I’ve never been able to lie.  Okay, so the shoes caused the pain.  The mirror and my cat were innocent. Nothing else happened that day.  Sure, I’ve had to go through chemo and experience things that I really would have liked to skip.  But I know that mirrors break, cats are black and those two things mean nothing, but I should never wear four inch heels right after major surgery.

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