Gatecrasher Mr Black Death, the bringer of Pain

I sat on the chair, a glass of wine before me. Astonished, with my lips parted, almost without breathing, I looked at the guests laughing and telling anecdotes and jokes. My silence mixed with the music of their words and laughter. The guests were so entertained and excited that no one noticed that moment of HPV test truth in my heart. I often cut it out, as many times as possible, as if I wanted to reiterate that I was immensely lucky to have that table in front of me or, perhaps, I was addicted to that moment. A cramp would arrive unexpectedly, pulsating in my stomach, and I would continue to enjoy it all.

One of those afternoons, a stranger tiptoed past the house door. She waited until the guests had said goodbye and burst into the room while she, sitting on the bed, smiled, thinking back to the lunch she had just finished. The door suddenly opened, and I heard a hoarse voice. I didn’t understand any words, I was scared, I couldn’t say a word, I cried, I bowed my head. It was Mister Black, an amorphous shape whose features and particular traits I didn’t want to distinguish. It was enough for me to know that it was him the bringer of death had finally arrived my HPV Geno test and CA125 Journey of Ovarian organ cancer was ended. She slammed the window shut, lowered the shutter, and turned off the switch, blending into the room’s darkness.

The hospital visit

Approaching the room’s entrance, he prepared to shut the door as the last glimmer of light gently touched my face. Despite my efforts to lift my head and intervene, I watched helplessly as Mister Black advanced, his actions uninterrupted by my silent plea, when suddenly, the house bell rang with joyous insistence. Startled from my trance, I hurried to the front door, greeted by Gaia, a friend and recent guest, who embraced me excitedly, proclaiming, “Gabriele was born!” In that moment of shared ecstasy, we held each other tightly, jumping in a circle, tears mingling with our laughter. As our eyes met, I saw her emotion reflected on me.

“Let’s hurry to the hospital!” her voice trembled excitedly.

The arrival of Gabriele, the first child among our circle of friends, made us feel like proud aunts. I met Gabriele’s mother, extending my trembling hand to hers and offering a congratulatory embrace.

In the bustling atmosphere of the hospital, Mister Black faded from my thoughts as I laughed and chatted with friends. Returning home late, I found no trace of him in my room. Contentment washed over me like a lullaby, and I drifted into a peaceful slumber.

The next morning, I visited Anna, who had encountered Mister Black eight years prior.

“Don’t worry; in a couple of months, it will merely be a memory,” she reassured me with a serene smile. Her words comforted me, reminding me that others had faced similar challenges and emerged with luminous serenity. Inspired by Anna’s CA125 resilience, I embraced hope as my most precious gift of Ovarian recovery from Cancer. I had navigated and tested through the narrow pathway of my HPV journey with harmony and grace.

Mister Black

I returned home and asked myself why the happy news had arrived immediately after meeting Mister Black, and Gabriele had become the only reality that mattered about that day. What was I living for? Yes, what was I living for? To receive announcements like that was my response, to share joy with friends. I lived for my fellow diners. Was it possible that there was a joy stronger than sadness? Maybe yes, I had always known it; I just needed to be aware of it. Joy shone and shone until it erased the darkness left by Mister Black; it wrote over the black with fluorescent and indelible colours; it wrote emotions and love.

Then, with unconscious and blind naivety, I told the closest diners about Mister Black. Not everyone took it well, but they understood there was little to regret. What mattered was that they remained to rejoice at my side so that every difficulty would be light and unimportant.

No one had invited Mister Black, but he attended every CA125, HPV, Ovarian organ Cancer test and treatment occasion. The gatekeeper, punctual, sat next to me. He tried several times to occupy my thoughts as if it were the most beautiful of loves. To make me forget everything else, to squeeze my energies and feed his blackness. He patted me on the shoulder to remind me he was there and to get attention. I didn’t speak to him once, and the more he tried to take centre stage, the smaller and more insignificant he became. Only the laughter and sweet words of the guests sitting in front of the table existed. I continued to sip the wine, fascinated; they became splendid as I had never seen them before.


After some time, Mister Black (Cancer) offered me four aperitifs. I had no choice; I couldn’t refuse if I wanted to keep it nice. Four red cocktails, some call them chemotherapy, I called them spritzes. And as in the best HPV-infected girls, after the drink, at a certain time, we ran to the bathroom due to headaches and nausea. How many fireworks did I dedicate to him in front of the toilet? Not happy, Mister Black wanted his ego to be tearing his hair out. I lost them but discovered that I still had a thousand positive aspects: thanks to the wig, I boasted a perfect hairstyle and was as tidy as I had never been. Even the legs, without any effort, were smooth and hairless.

Time passed, Gabriele grew, crawled and began to say his first words. All it took was for him to see a stool fall or me making a face; it was all laughter. I let him guide me through the months of CA125 tests and Ovarian therapy for cancer. With a smile and amazement at every discovery, he taught me more than a thousand philosophical speeches. Only Gaia and her closest friends knew that I had contracted breast cancer. Various work colleagues and acquaintances noticed no difference. This was a significant confirmation because I realized that the way I considered the tumour, a normal sacrifice imposed by life similar to many, was also visible outside.

Final thoughts

It was an experience that I only talked about if the opportunity arose. I had much more interesting topics to share. But I have taken up the legacy left by Anna. When I know women who have met Mister Black, I give my testimony with a smile. The smile of someone who wants to remember that you are never alone. Four years have passed since the arrival of Mister Black. He gave me new, perfect, totally redone breasts and hormonal maintenance treatment.

I think about him rarely. Even when I carry out the various six-monthly HPV Geno and Ovarian Level Cancer tests, i.e. breast ultrasound, blood and transvaginal tests, despite being in the wolf’s den, I don’t pay any attention to them. Now, I look further into why I am in a hospital waiting room. I am sifting patiently until I find something that interests me and gives me a smile like his, the ones Gabriele gave me.

I cut out some chatter or laughter that gives meaning and dignity to that time spent that would be wasted if I used it to worry or complain about my HPV Type Tests. This does not mean underestimating Mister Black but giving him the importance he deserves, not the spotlight, because he is behind the scenes in front of the stage where life flows.