It was noon on Christmas Eve.
He had asked me to call him as soon as I had the results.
It was Merry frickin’ Christmas Eve.
I didn’t want to do this. Not to him. Not to his family. Not to anyone. Not on Christmas Eve.
But it was cancer. No doubt about it. The five centimeter tumor in his bladder had caused him to pee blood.
I picked up the phone, hesitated, then put it back down.
I packed the laptop into my bright red leather bag and turned off the lights in the office as I walked out, the last one left in the clinic. My footsteps echoed down the hallway to the alarm code panel. I could feel the cold sneaking in around the glass door and I shivered involuntarily.
Sometimes you have to trust that there is a higher power at work, something beyond you. There was a reason he was supposed to learn about this diagnosis before the holiday. Maybe to help him reconcile with someone? Maybe so he could make this the best Christmas of his life, in case it was his last one?
I don’t get to decide. It is not my place.
He wanted to know.
I walked back to my office, picked up the phone again, and this time I actually dialed his number.
I told him the news.
“Thank you, Doc.”
“Merry Christmas,” I said.