When Cancer Runs in Your Family
In my frightened mind, so many people in my family had been reduced to that one word.
As a birthday gift, my mom wanted to take me shopping. I had one leg deep in a black over-the-knee boot when my phone rang. My mom, still smiling, took a fraction of a second longer than I did to realize: This could be the call we'd been waiting on. The results of my biopsy.
What if you don’t get another one?
Katie Gutierrez lives in San Antonio, Texas, with her husband, one-year-old daughter, and two dogs. Katie has an MFA from Texas State University, and her fiction and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Catapult, Washington Post, Lit Hub, Motherwell, and more. She is working on a novel while her baby naps. Find her on Twitter @katie_gutz.
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Something unexpected cracks me open every year: Tonight, it was my daughter, recognizing the name I’d given her because I couldn’t give her the woman herself.
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“If I’d stayed, I could have protected him. That’s what I believed. Maybe he believed that, too.”