Cancer cancer cancer cancer cancer.
It’s been nearly two months since my roommate’s diagnosis and the only thing I have really learned is this: people? Totally afraid to say the C word. I cannot figure out why, although I’m guilty of it myself. When her diagnosis first came down, I avoided the word. Then I felt silly, so I stopped avoiding and started saying it. But even then, I’d whisper it.
Now though? I’ve decided that’s dumb. We have a unicorn. We have a narwhal. They are fighting the cancer. Fighting it as hard as they can. They are putting on their magical battle horns and fighting.
So I’ll do the same. I’ll say the word cancer. Hell, I’ll shout the word cancer when I can shout it in the following sentence: “Hey Roommate, remember that time you beat your cancer AGAIN? That was awesome.”
Without further ado, here is a summary of what’s been happening lately, cancerwise.
Here is a list of bandaids we’ve collected so far:
-Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbons
On Monday, we went on a date to our favorite vegan restaurant (Chaco Canyon OMG SO DELICIOUS) and then to Cancer Care Alliance for a second opinion follow-up appointment. Cancer dates? SO fun! Who knew? We had the following conversations.
Before leaving the restaurant:
Roommate: We should probably head out soon if we want to find parking.
Me: Isn’t there a garage?
Roommate: Yeah but you have to pay. Street parking is free.
Me: Wait a second. You have to pay for parking?
Me: At CANCER CARE ALLIANCE?
Me: Wow. They really are a bunch of sum’bitches. You already have cancer and NOW you have to pay to park in their garage? Stay classy, CCA.
In the waiting room:
Me: This is cuuuushy.
Roommate’s BFF: Right?
Me: HOLY CRAP. Those chairs over there recline!
RBFF: Seriously? Where?
Me: Over there! AND they have a view of Lake Union! And the SAILBOATS!
RBFF: We should sit in them!
Me: Do you think we have to have cancer to get a recline-y chair?
RBFF: No, I think they are for everyone.
Me: Alright, but if anyone eyeballs us, try to look sickly and stoic.
Roommate: (looking shocked)
Me: I didn’t say YOU have to look sickly and stoic. You can just look pretty.
Roommate: Oh good.
Sitting in the recline-y chairs:
Me: This is LIVING.
Roommate: (again with the shocked)
Me: PERSPECTIVE, LADY.
(A patient walks by and looks at us in the recline-y chairs.)
Me: (pretending to sneeze 43 times)
Roommate: And what was that?
Me: I pretended to sneeze. You know, because we are in the recline-y chairs.
Roommate: So you have cancer of the what?
In the exam room, talking with the Cancer Dream Team (CDT):
Roommate: I’m seriously considering asking you guys to take over my care plan.
CDT: It’s a big decision. We do think we can help you and we encourage you to think about it.
Roommate: I’m getting such a good feel from you guys. You’ve been straight and honest with me and I like that.
RBFF: Yeah, I agree. Plus, you specialize in her specific type of cancer.
Me: I like the paintings in the waiting room. Oh, also! RECLINE-Y CHAIRS. I mean, sold, you know?
CDT: It’s good to have a support system with priorities.
On the way out:
Me: Hey, Roommate? RBFF and I need you to do us a favor.
Me/RBFF: See, we really like two of the paintings in the waiting room. Will you steal them for us on the way out?
Roommate: Why me?
Me: Well, you know. You have The Cancer. So if they stop you, all you have to do is say you’re going to use them in your imaging exercises or something. But if *we* try to take them, we’re just the bitches who steal from a cancer waiting room
RBFF: Yeah. And we don’t want to be THOSE bitches.
I’m sure she was super thrilled she brought us along.
We got some very encouraging news from her appointment. Right now her body is responding to the medications she’s been taking and we are still able to avoid chemo, which is exactly what we wanted to hear. Stage IV, yes, but the CDT is very encouraged by her progress so far.
It’s a long road and she has a tough fight ahead of her. Regardless of the bumps we may face, I know one thing is for sure:
It’s bunk that we would have to pay for parking.