Maybe this post should be titled: The danger of going off half-cocked in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep because you have cancer. You’re mostly not terrified. The docs are being positive. But when the house is quiet, and the streets are empty and you can hear the clock ticking, then the fear creeps in. The desperate insistence that you WILL be there for your family wraps around you like a boa constrictor.
Then you start to think about all the breast cancer doo-dads, all the easy pieties, the pink ribbon magnets on SUVs. It’s not even been three weeks since my diagnosis, and I already have several cancer center pens, a cancer notepad, even a cancer emery board in case I want to do my nails while waiting to have needles shot into my breasts. It’s pink, of course. I bought some things at a pharmacy today and when asked if I’d like to donate a buck for breast cancer research, you bet I said yes. Hell, yes. But all that’s too easy. Just as it seemed too easy for my cousin to just cut and paste a statement of support for people with cancer.
As it turns out, things have not been easy for the cousin in my previous post. First of all, her husband died of cancer. There is NO way to make up for that, nothing to say, nothing to do that will make that better. Not only this, she has recently lost a dear friend to lung cancer, another friend to multiple cancers. Still another friend’s 12-year-old daughter died of bone cancer 9 months ago. 12 years old! Bone cancer is excruciating; I’ve written stories about it. My cousin’s running partner is in remission from lymphoma.
My cousin emails me this morning that she is tired of people being angry with her because she does not have cancer. She says she hadn’t heard of my diagnosis, and that I made a big assumption when I thought she had. She is right.
Cancer ticks me off, but not at my cousin, not any longer. I’m not angry at her because she is healthy.
I am angry at cancer. Cancer ticks me off because it makes me stupid.