Reflecting on what this lump may or may not be, I've been thinking about the thyroid cancer I had a number of years ago. Thyroid cancer is weird - doctors call it the "good cancer." Riiiight. Kind of like the "clean break" of a bone or the "mild heart attack, " yet another euphemism designed to allow a person to distance themselves from the reality of the situation - that their body is broken. It may be a temporary situation, but at the moment, when you receive that type of news, things ain't going the way they're supposed to go. And I've come to learn that nothing clears a room faster than the word cancer. Or, as my dear friend called it, the "C-word."
Why can't we talk about illness and death? And, no, I don't think I'm dying yet. :) If death is a part of life, why is it so cloaked with shadows and only talked about in whispers? I've always been pretty liberal about what I share in life and of my life, but I remember, during that time, feeling that no one wanted to talk about what was going on. At least not with me directly. I didn't have the emotional energy to invest in what was going on with the people around me, but I definitely felt...kind of alone.
I know that I am not easy to care for - not because I don't prompt feelings of tenderness, but because I really don't have much experience in being taken care of. Blame my mother if you want, but, I've done the therapy and am finished with that. I take care of people - my family, the students and faculty, the guests at the restaurant, it is what I do. And enjoy doing, but....
If I have a situation here, some sort of cancer, no matter how "good," I'm milking this one. I want to be taken care of a little bit, I think. I don't only mean thoughtful donations of soup or baked goods, I mean, I don't want anyone to run away from me. Cancer isn't contagious. Even though I feel too much a novice to call myself a "cancer survivor, " the truth is I am, and it's placed me in a special club; the best possible cancer outcome club. And maybe I was inducted to point out that every month is cancer month for someone, somewhere. And it's okay to talk about it.