Back in New York City on Labor Day, I bought an over-the-counter pregnancy test kit. "Negative." I told Michael.

"How does that make you feel?" he asked.

"Relieved. Disappointed. Scared."

"Me too." He hugged me, picked up his suitcase, and left for the airport. He would be performing in Chicago all week, and would return late on Friday night.

What I Know.

1. I have a large, hard lump in my lower abdomen.

2. I'm not pregnant

3. I am forty-four and in early menopause.

4. I have been infertile since the age of thirty.

5. I have a bladder disorder.

6. I have sore breasts, a result of wearing underwire bras.

7. I've felt sick since April

8. I'm anemic

9. I'm depressed.

10. I have been on hormone replacement therapy for fourteen years, which increases my risk of cancer.

11. I'm a DES daughter, which increases my risk of cancer.

12. My mother had breast cancer.

13. I'm sure the lump is cancer.

Reprinted by arrangement with Viking, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., from What I Thought I Knew by Alice Eve Cohen. Copyright (c) 2009 by Alice Eve Cohen.

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