Life in the cancer lane could best be described as a “dramedy”. It’s a whole lot of drama with some pretty funny moments sprinkled in. You never know what you’re going to get from day to day. Sometimes it’s all comedy and other times…well you know.
This week, if “My Life in the Cancer Lane” were a 30-minute comedy, it would have played out like this. Each scene starts with me coming out of radiation.
Scene 1: After radiation, you see Cancer Chick with just eyebrows and lip-gloss on, leaving Mayo and driving to get her morning coffee. She pulls into the drive thru, orders coffee, and pulls up to the window to pay. The young guy says in his best “I will always be a drive thru teller” voice, “How you doing SIR? That will be $4.37”. Chick looks up, rolls eyes, and responds, “I am NOT a Sir, here’s the money”. Teller guy pauses, slightly leans out, and says, “Oh…ok…here’s your coffee”. Cancer Chick takes coffee, says “Seriously?” and drives off. FADE TO BLACK
Scene 2: After radiation, you see Cancer Chick in a little more make up, pulling into Nordstrom for some retail therapy. As she is perusing the dresses, two 2nd graders walk by. Cancer Chick smiles and says hi. (They are staring, after all!) One points and says, “You’re ugly.” The other little girl looks shocked, grabs the girl, and runs off to tell the mom. The mom looks back in horror, doesn’t apologize, but hurries away. You then see Cancer Chick text her friend what just happened. The friend responds that Chick should have said “You think this is ugly, you should see my A$$!” Chick laughs. FADE TO BLACK.
Scene 3: After radiation, you see Cancer Chick in FULL FACE, headed to a local convention. She is happy b/c she was recognized with others, for 25 years of philanthropic work. While waiting for another part of the program to start, a little boy with beautiful bouncy curls comes over and just stares. Cancer Chick, again, says hi. He just tilts his head and continues to stare. Finally, he asks, “Why don’t you have any hair?”. She responds, “It all fell out. Can I have some of yours?” The little boy grabs his hair, and screams “NOOOOO” as he runs to find his mom. FADE TO BLACK.
Scene 4: Cancer Chick is in bed with her husband. “Three weeks done!” she says as she looks down at her noticeably browner breast. Husband says she is starting to look more and more like herself. She is beautiful, he says. Cancer Chick rolls her eyes, and says she’s been assaulted by comments all week. Husband laughs and says, “Well at least your nose hair is growing back. That’s a start!” She hits him with a pillow. FADE TO BLACK.
The outtakes of the show would show Cancer Chick at the gym after radiation, after working out, watching tennis. An older gentleman asks her if she found her cancer herself. (They had been talking, but, how forward!) She says yes. He responds, “You need more boyfriends!” and laughs! She says, “I will be sure to tell my husband”. Dude responds, “Well he is useless, b/c he didn’t find it.” FADE TO BLACK.
But you know my journey in the Cancer Lane is never without drama. I have been relying on BET (I’m trying to help them jump into the mini-series game!) or Lifetime to do my story. But I think I am officially moving into HBO territory!
Scene: Cancer Chick is at radiation getting dressed, and phone rings. She ignores it, and camera catches “No cell phone” sign on wall. Next, she gets a text saying, “Call me”. Chick texts that she will call back in a day, after her visitor leaves, and she has a free moment. The responding text “Ok, I’m now in your lane”. Next, the scene goes into slow motion, and you hear only a heart beat. Images pop up on the screen. 2 girls at college. 2 girls in Sorority sweaters at Greek Picnic. Same girls, 1 is a bridesmaid, the other a bride. The two girls, one pregnant, at a baby shower. Same girls on phone laughing, split screen. One is bald. The other isn’t. Finally, screen comes back into focus, and you see and hear Cancer Chick burst into tears. FADE TO BLACK.
Yes, I learned that another woman has entered into the Cancer Lane. Not just any woman, but my 1st friend in college, sorority sister, bridesmaid, my…friend. The friend who texted the “A$$” comment above! Ours is a friendship that has seen many ups and downs in 26 years of knowing each other. But ours is a friendship that brought her front and center during my cancer journey. As I have said before, she and her mother have made me laugh & smile many times over the last 6 months. How could this happen? My initial reaction was panic and tears. Since then we have laughed together, reminisced, and talked “Cancer”. She already has her own growing list of “Sh*t, people say”! Alas, her story is not mine to tell. But our stories are forever intertwined. We will be writing a “bang up” story for the Alumni magazine when this is all done! I only hope I can do for her what she has done for me. Man, talk about being thrown into the role of Cancer Mentor! Where did those big girl panties go…
So life is full of stuff! Drama, comedy, and more drama. Hopefully, I will have more comedy and less drama!