Book Excerpts

Sneak peek into the life and mind behind Topic of Cancer: Riding the Waves of the Big C. Get a window into the humor and the pathos as they exist side by side.

The question that left me the most stunned was “Do you always have this much fun or is it just since starting treatment?” WHAT??! More fun now? NO No no NO! I stopped and remembered that we were just getting to know each other. She would be unaware of how I live my life, the so called humor that I inflict on others, and the importance for me to live my life even though I am having treatment. She seemed to see her role as one of mentor, since she had been through treatment herself, though I was not seeking this. I appreciated her good intentions never-the-less.

I’m anticipating the Great Unwrap. I have an ace bandage that makes Mummy an appropriate title for Kate to call me. Inhaling is a luxury that I recall from my not too distant past. I’m imagining Duke holding one end, and then my doing a twirling dance move that will leave the bandage dangling from his arm in a spiral of beige. When will they make this stuff in pretty colors? I know that what I find underneath will be more swollen and bruised than the final answer, but it makes me gulp a little to consider it.

You know you’re deep into medical land when someone tells you that you have beautiful veins and you beam with pride…I no longer break into a sweat when I see them rip open the needle packet…Nice to know that she’s thinking about me from the inside; I’m not just a pretty arm.

Armstrong defines courage as “the quality of spirit that enables one to encounter danger with firmness and withour fear.” I believe it involves being able to act and continue even in the face of fear. Sometimes having courage means not only allowing the fear to enter, but asking for help in dealing with it. It takes courage to be vulnerable. They are not mutually exclusive properties.

Quease shop

Man: Have you got any ginger ale?

Gentleman: No

Man: Well, then have you got any ginger snaps?

Gentleman: No, sorry, we haven’t.

Man: Well, then how about some fresh ginger? Or pickled?

Gentleman: No, and no.

Man: What about ginger tea? Gingerbread? Carrot ginger soup?

Gentleman: No. Wait a minute…No, and no.

Man: Ginger beer at least?

Gentleman: No, absolutely not.

Man: Well then, what have you got? This is, after all, a quease shop!

Gentleman: We’ve got oats.

Man: OATS? Why have you got oats?

Gentleman: Because this is a shop of OAT QUEASINE!