Remember the Paul Simon song?…
“Something goes wrong, I’m the first to admit it. First to admit it and last one to know. Something goes right, well it’s likely to lose me. Apt to confuse me, it’s such an unusual sight, I swear, I can’t get used to something so right.”
Mark and I have become the ones who get used to something going wrong. Cancer diagnoses and lost hopes seem to be the news of the thirtysomethings. Weddings and babies? Those seem to be the gifts of our twenties, gone and forgotten.
So, when Mark’s sister Beth called with the gleeful news that her boyfriend Jamey had proposed, we couldn’t quite wrap our heads around it. And to think, they’ll get married about the same time that my brother Chris and his wife Alison welcome a new baby. We are overjoyed.
We have a hard time getting used to these “somethings so right.” But we’re happy to try.
Congratulations, Beth and Jamey!
Mark and I have often observed at the oncologist’s office that the right hand doesn’t always know what the left hand is doing. The place is always hoppin’ and the doctors are always running late (a 1 1/2 hour wait this morning–it only has taken us two years to remember to bring books!). There are some folks there who run the place beautifully (like my cousin‘s lovely mother-in-law) and others who gum up the works and ask us questions we think they should already know the answer to. Last time, someone asked me why I needed a CAT scan. Um, I have cancer and the doctor said so?
Today, I was chit-chatting with the injectionist who was readying my $1,500 shot of Faslodex. Here is our conversation…
She asks me how many kids I have.
“Just one. My initial cancer was when she was 18 months old, so that was the end of kids for us. I found out about my mets on her fourth birthday. She’s turning six on Saturday.”
“Oh”, she says, “you have metastatic breast cancer!?”
“Yep,” I answer, “it’s in my lungs.”
“Wow,” she says, as she depresses the plunger into my gluteus maximus…”are you getting treatment for that?”
Now there may have been other chit-chatty lines in there, but I swear that last line is exactly what she said.
Perhaps her left brain wasn’t aware of what her right hand was doing.
Two weeks ago, when Mark and I were sitting in the waiting room at the cancer center trying to keep it together, we were recognized by a woman who had graduated from high school a few years ahead of me. She had been a cool cheerleader and I remember following her fashion sense when I was in junior high.
We swapped breast cancer stories as we all waited for our respective appointments. She had been diagnosed only a few weeks before and was anticipating more chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, etc., etc. As she was filling us in on her treatment and trying to explain the smile on her face, she said, “I’ve been through heart disease, and now breast cancer. I just figure that I’ll do what they [the doctors] tell me and try not to get hit by a truck in the meantime.”
A good philosophy, I think. Perhaps she should still be a cheerleader.
I’ll be trying not to get hit by a truck today. And appreciating the sun coming through my dining room windows.