The Facebook Posts – Mel’s Cancer Diaries

I used to think that once a person is diagnosed with cancer they automatically end up in a hospital bed fighting for their life. I pictured a victim of breast cancer wearing a turban and bandages from the chemo port. Handmade afghans with a zig-zag of mustard yellow colors and photos of family sitting on the bedside table.

I guess that was my 12-year-old brain’s idea of someone with cancer. The reality is that I’m just walking around with cancer as if nothing is wrong. I go to work with cancer. I give presentations with cancer. I go to the grocery store with cancer. I make dinner with cancer. I have conversations about random life experiences with cancer. I feel like I need to tell people what the hell is going on. I talk to the cashier in the check-out lane and consider informing her on my impending ordeal.

I don’t feel sick. I feel perfectly healthy. I can’t help but fall into the pattern my family has established interacting with one another. We tease each other with playful insults and sarcasm. I have two teenage daughters and there is something about their generation that LOVES sarcasm. They think that if they are insulting you to your face that it symbolizes love. I have to admit that I find that using this type of humor is beneficial for my healing. Maybe its a way for us to act normal in this time of abnormal.

My daughter set a jar in our kitchen and every time I pull the “cancer card” out of my back pocket in order to get out of having to do things myself, I have to toss a dollar bill in the jar. I like to see if they will do extra work around the house. I’ll make a big show if I want to escape cleaning the toilets or cat litter. Suddenly, I can’t vacuum or dust because I’m suffering with cancer. They call my bluff every time.

I can’t think of a better way to combat this disease than with humor. I don’t want to live with this gloomy cloud hanging over our heads every day. Right now we are coping by jabbing and laughing. Tomorrow may be different, but today if feels right.

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