She found the lump late one evening. It looked and felt....well, lumpish. Unusual. And threatening. She Googled it, and after half an hour of frightening pictures and even more frightening statistics, she knew the news would be bad, and she panicked.
How would she tell her family? If she wasn't one of the 35% who survive for five years, how would she cope with the inevitable? She would miss births and marriages; holidays and family occasions. She hadn't finished that course she was planning, written that novel, painted that picture.
She discussed all this with her husband of thirty years, and despite his protests, she spent an hour discussing hymns for her funeral. The Lord is my Shepherd (her favourite) and All Things Bright and Beautiful (a glimmer of cheer for her grieving family). And there would be something noisy and triumphant on the organ, to go out to at the end, and lots of flowers. She loved flowers.
But when she saw the doctor, the news was good. There was nothing to worry about. It had all been a false alarm. Feeling light-hearted, ecstatic even, she almost danced out of the surgery and down the road. She would never again take anything for granted. She heard a blackbird singing, and it was the most beautiful sound in the world. She breathed in the fresh spring air. It tasted like champagne. She would write that book; paint that picture. From now on, she would always look on the bright side.
Afterwards, everyone wondered why she hadn't seen the juggernaut as she crossed the road; hadn't heard the warning cry of a passer-by. The shocked driver said that "the poor lady looked as though she was dancing", which seemed very strange.
But to look on the bright side (as she might have said), at least she had chosen her hymns. And there were certainly lots of flowers.