Excerpt from Chapter 1: Crossroads.

Thud. Debbie’s knees slam into me—broadside.


She is naked, and straight-from-the-shower soaking wet.

“Feel…there’s a lump! Found it while taking my shower.”

“It’s cancer, I know it is,” she almost screams.

Her trembling hands guide mine. There, my fingers distinguish the marble-sized mass within her left breast. Fear tingles from fingertips to brain—displacing exhaustion. Worst-case scenarios wrestle against thoughts of reason.

“It can’t be…” I insist.

Thin streams of water flow onto my face, arms, and chest from Debbie’s saturated brown hair draping over me. Turning in the current without my glasses, I squint to read 5:12 a.m. on the bedside clock. How long have I slept? I climbed into bed at 2:00 a.m., but couldn’t sleep. One hour…maybe. I wish I could reverse time; be waking from a bad dream. Yesterday was the worst day of my life—now this. What the hell am I going to do?

My mind flails for something brave to say, to keep us afloat.

Instead, all I can say is, “It’s okay, honey…everything’ll be okay.”