Niles finally breathed a sigh as Daphne walked in. "Thank God," he said, coming over to her. "I must be getting some of your psychic powers or something, because -" But he stopped mid-sentence when he saw tears flowing down his wife's face. "My love, what's wrong?" He gently led her to the fainting couch.
"Well, I had me usual annual physical. I didn't think it would be too bad," Daphne said, when she finally felt able to speak. "The doctor said I needed a mammogram. The test itself wasn't so bad. A bit uncomfortable, noting to worry about. But when the doctor looked at me scan, he said….he said there was a lump. I might have cancer."
"And you drove home after that? Why didn't you call me? I would've picked you up. You were in no state to drive after something like that."
Daphne shrugged. She barely even remembered the drive home. "I just wanted to get out of there. But, Niles, do you realize what this means? I could die!" Once again, tears overcame her.
Niles held her close, letting her tears fall onto his expensive sweater. "Daphne, this isn't a death sentence. Several of my patients have been through this, and they've survived. It wasn't easy, but they beat it. I have every reason to believe you'll beat it too."
A sad sort of smile came on Daphne's face as she pulled out of the embrace. Of course Niles would say that. But he couldn't guarantee anything. "But what if it doesn't work out that way? David's so young. To lose his mum now, it's just not right."
"David is not going to lose his mother. We're going to find you the best doctors, the newest treatments, everything. Money's no object." Niles held her close once again. He knew the road ahead would be long and difficult, but he would do whatever it took to help Daphne beat this disease.
"I'm so lucky to have you. You've put up with so much over the years. And to think what we could've had, if I'd only known sooner…." Daphne's words were lost, as tears once again overwhelmed her.
"Now, Daphne," Niles said, pulling her close once again. "We've been over that a dozen times. What's done is done. What matters is that we're here now, and we have David. Whatever the future holds, we'll handle it. I promise." He reached for his laptop. "To prove it to you, I'm going to start looking for doctors. It never hurts to get a second opinion." He began typing furiously. Daphne watched, touched by how seriously he took the situation.
Niles watched as search results filled the screen. He looked at the names and locations of Seattle's top oncologists, surgeons, and other experts in breast cancer. He had to admit, even as a doctor himself, he found it all overwhelming. He was so lost in what he was doing, he almost didn't hear the phone ring.
Daphne started to reach for the phone, seeing that Niles' mind was elsewhere. But, at the very last moment, Niles grabbed the phone. "Hello?" He paused, a look of confusion coming onto his face. "You're sure? I mean, really sure?" Again, he said nothing. His expression remained uncertain.
As she watched her husband's face, Daphne couldn't help wondering who he was talking to. He'd grabbed the phone before she could see the ID. Her heart pounded. Was it the doctor? Had the found something even worse than cancer? The idea terrified her.
"Well, all right, if you're sure," Niles said. "Yes, I'll tell her. Thanks for calling so soon." Niles hung the phone up, before turning to her in disbelief. "You're not going to believe this. That was the doctor's office. The doctor thinks he may have been mistaken. He's looked at the scans again, and he doesn't think it's cancer. You should have another mammogram to confirm, but he sounded sure this time."
Daphne heard the words, though they didn't quite register at first. "You….you mean I'm OK? I don't have cancer?"
"It would seem so," Niles said. Even he couldn't believe what he was saying. "See, Daphne? I told you it would be OK." He kissed her. "But I want you to know, I meant what I said. If this had gone another way…...Well, I would do anything in my power to help you defeat the disease."
As she looked in her husband's eyes, Daphne had no doubt that he was telling the truth. He'd fallen in love with her a long time ago, and his actions proved it every day. As relief washed over her, Daphne realized she had more to be grateful for than just the doctor's phone call. She also had the best life partner she could have asked for.