Everyone I know either has cancer or is related to someone who has cancer, including us. I'm pretty sure being Jewish makes cancer worse because we think we have it before we really do. We were born with excessive worry and panic genes (and real cancer genes). I'm sure my husband is tired of me asking him multiple times a day if he has sun screen on. Seriously, I text him at work and ask him. The scar on his other shoulder is a permanent awareness month. And it's not like Karen is going to forget all she's been through because who the hell forgets that?! Oh, well if anyone would, it would be Karen. Topamax is hard on the memory but every few days I ask her if it's time for her next mammogram yet (I am her awareness month).
Just yesterday we took our mom to her appointment with her oncologist. Everyone there had cancer! Breast cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, bone cancer. The office was full of people with cancer. The chemotherapy room had patients knitting and reading.People were smiling in the waiting room. In a depressing place, people still managed to be OK for a moment.
Just as we were leaving the doctor's office, we heard a child crying in the hallway outside the door. Karen opened it slowly and there, outside the room full of people who should be visibly suffering and were not, was a screaming toddler on the left, and on the right, a moaning pregnant woman having contractions. The painful contraction stopped her in her tracks at the door to cancer doctor, and she was MISERABLE! She was bent over and sweaty and breathing hard. I think she was even drooling. Her husband was rubbing her back and pushing her hair out of her face. I'd never seen anyone in real life having contractions like that. I started to sweat, too! And I started to worry that the birth control I'm using better really work. That looked way worse than any cancer I have ever seen. Way, way worse.
I am still haunted by those few minutes by the door.
Forget Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we need Contractions With Screaming Toddler Month.
*You matter! Get a mammogram. Stop smoking. Use sunscreen. Use a condom.
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