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Yes, There Is Something You Can Do

September 20, 2010

I wrote this as a note on my facebook page almost two years ago, when I was skating on the very thin ice of maybe being cured of cancer.  I’m reposting it here, to show how much has changed in that time, and how much has not changed.

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December 20, 2008

“I am so sorry. What can I do?” is the near-universal reaction of my friends upon learning that I have been diagnosed with breast cancer — and not just cancer, but unusually advanced and aggressive cancer that is resistant to the new modern treatments that make breast cancer, in most cases, not so scary.

The truth is, there is not much anyone can do except pray, and wait, and try be as normal as possible. A lot of people sent great stuff in the mail. T-shirts and, for some reason, a box of 1,000 hot pink peeps which I am still trying to figure out what to do with. I think I will flotilla them down the White Rock Creek dam on New Years Day, the first anniversary of my being declared “cancer-free.” Books galore. Hats. A Badger Kachina Doll. My friends in Dallas brought over Holy Ravioli by the caseload, and picked my kids up for play dates which were OH so welcome. A couple of home-cooked meals really stand out as well.

All these gifts and acts of kindness were beacons that lit the path of my ordeal and made it endurable, and I thank you. But so many friends have expressed frustration with the reality that these acts were all “one off,” and yet, here I am, living with an ongoing prognosis that is too frightening to do more than allude to.

Besides, I could get hit by a bus tomorrow. And here’s the kicker. If I were to get hit by that apocryphal bus, the only silver lining is that I would be spared the horror of a lingering death by cancer. You see, I’m not eligible to be an organ donor.

But you are.

It won’t make my prognosis any less bleak. It won’t make my future of scans and tests every few weeks for the rest of my life any less unpleasant. But if you were to sign the paperwork to become an organ donor, and inform your relatives, because I asked you to, it would ease the weight of the burden I bear. Do it for me, because I cannot.

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3 Comments
  1. Susan permalink

    The pink peeps were a concatenation of:
    – Sacrificing a chicken to the gods for your recovery
    – All that pink ribbon awareness hype
    – The sender’s sarcastic nature

  2. The peeps were AWESOME. That is what they were.

  3. Dances with Reaper Dancer permalink

    Pink peeps:

    http://www.panoramio.com/photo/21598979

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