Monday, July 31, 2006

it ain't contagious

Cancer makes some people very uncomfortable.

Even some folks I know fairly well clearly find it hard to meet my eye or spend any time in my presence since I started undergoing treatment.

They should be bit more like my friend S. I had beer and nachos with him and a couple of other friends last Friday night (although we've been in regular contact, it was the first time we'd seen each other since I went on leave from work in January). At one point I commented that I was feeling pretty full and sleepy. "Don't pass out!" he admonished. "We'll take a marker and write stuff on your head!"

I really believe it's better to name the elephant at the table. And if you can make me laugh in the process, so much the better.

Tomorrow, I go under the beam. I'll write soon about what is bound to be a surreal experience. Meanwhile, check out David Hlynsky's blog ( It is a beautifully written account of undergoing treatment for prostate cancer. David has finished treatment and his blog is done. I miss it.


Trundling Grunt said...

"Cancer makes some people very uncomfortable."

It does (it did me) and it makes absolutely no sense. I have a friend who had leukemia and the fact that I can still refer to him in the present tense tells you that he came through ok. He is amazingly brave as the course was unsteady but he came through. As will you, I'm sure. Good luck to you!

Anonymous said...

I'm soooo glad you know the discomfort comes from the individual's history and has nothing to do with you or your journey. You merely trigger the response.

"Cancer makes some people very uncomfortable." Yes indeed. And not just cancer; any threatening illness or condition. Because of my own history, I felt severely handicapped around seriously ill folk...until more than a few people...very close to me and very recently...(yourself included)became ill. Well, you're all survivors and all have become my culture heroes and pathfinders. I salute you, Laurie, and will write on your head next time I see you, although I probably will have to mark up your hair as well.


You Know Who