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This is a story you can tell

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This is a story you can tell

You: “This poor mom I heard about, a friend of a friend knows her whole story, she has three young kids and was diagnosed with cancer. Stage three.” (concerned frown).
Your pal / neighbour / random listener / other mom in parking lot: “Tsk, how sad. Is it breast cancer?” (head shaking & concerned frown, whispers the words ‘breast cancer’).
You: Yes, she lost all her hair, even her eyelashes. Looked like a hungry rat for a few months there, red eyes and so on. Those poor kids, can you even imagine? And that poor husband of hers, so sexy, but must be so lonely through all of this. Life sucks sometimes, I really don’t get it”
Your pal / neighbour / random listener / other mom in parking lot: “We are so lucky. You just never know, do you?”
You: (whispering) “She apparently once vomited in her own lap while taking her parents to the airport”.
Your pal / neighbour / random listener / other mom in parking lot: ”Hectic. Oh by the way, have you watched that latest episode of GOT yet?”

This is a story you can tell

“This one mom is beating cancer’s ass. She was diagnosed in May and since then she has been on the most incredible journey. She was inspired by a whole bunch of other people with a similar attitude and she decided to take the whole vomity, uncertain, life changing, sticky eyelids & naked head adventure by the horns. She vomits shamelessly in interesting places and after every one of these nasty episodes she feels kind of proud for getting it out, so to speak. She tells of every time she would drive like hell to get home, jump out of her car and vomit in this one spot in her garden. Her trusted housekeeper and friend would then, very nonchalantly, appear next to her with a watering can and a glass of ice water. She, who is the incredible housekeeper, would then wash the vomit and the shame away as she handed her the glass and put a hand on her shoulder, then she (housekeeper extraordinaire) would walk away without a word but with support all around and heavy in the air.

Her husband, bless, sexy man, tall, he would just continue with his shower as she is hanging onto the toilet, sweating like a MOFO, a meter away from his soap-bubbly bottom. I don’t think he knows how much she appreciated that, the fact that life went on around her as normal. She has three young kids, real warriors in spirit, like they were born to have a mom with cancer because one day this experience will help them and others. They never stare in pity, they just go on. Oh, lots of people stare in pity apparently. And apparently they don’t want that, by they I mean people with cancer. Instead they want you to high five them and say ‘good going’ or “FGeorge” or talk about the weather if you must, but don’t give the pity stare while you attack them with twenty questions as if its a quiz show because you’re scared you may have it yourself. I mean ask questions, but not with pity and not as a hungry interrogation for facts that might help you in future. Apparently. Cancer peeps make fun of the pity stare. At their meet-ups they certainly don’t feel sorry for each other. They admire each other’s eyebrows (both drawn on and real), they talk about medical aids and how to submit claims for much needed tests, they make jokes like “I’ll hold your hair next time you vomit’ (Nina), they sit in the sun with their bare heads or new hair out there, just being normal.

You know I heard that she often hugs her oncologist, poor guy is not a hugger and goes all stiff. She has so much respect for him and his team. Quite a journey, she says she really likes the feel of air on her scalp. I mean how many people get to see the shape of their skulls, for real? She has a fresh appreciation for eyelashes (try pulling your one eyelid over the other to get something out of your eye without eyelashes, brother that is hard). And have I mentioned her friends and community? Bunch of rock stars. She also made a whole group of new friends, some one-boob-wonders, others who are no-boob-wonders or look-at-my-new-boob(s) wonders.

Oh and she once drove her parents to the airport, her family has been incredibly supportive, and she vomited in her own lap! (Giggles). Even on the way back she kept vomiting all the way down the M4 with the sun shining off the sea, or probably more like blinding her since, you know, zero eyelashes and all. She said sonofabitch, turned the music up and let the cool morning air tickle her scalp.”

Your pal / neighbour / random listener / other mom in parking lot: “I wonder if some amazing plants will grow in that spot in her garden?”

Ps. This song at the end here is not about cancer, it’s about battling alcoholism. But for me it’s a battle cry against cancer because addiction is also something foreign & outside, yet inside and part of you. It is also something to be fought with everything you have, something that cannot be fought without support. Something that, when you want to give up, you say ‘sonofabitch’ and continue on.

S.O.B By Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

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7 Comments »

  1. Awesome post – and so happy to see your face (and shiny melon! 😂).

    Kick it’s ass proper…can’t wait to catch up when you’re back @ Derivco.

    Oh…jy’s kind of inspirational. No pity stare..! 😜

    Jean

    Liked by 1 person

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