Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Stupid cancer

I wanted this to be a blog about my adventures in Boston. Unfortunately, I'm starting to have adventures of a different sort - the sort that involve many drives to North Conway, NH to visit my dad who has just been diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. I didn't want to make another cancer blog, but there's a danger of this turning into one simply because it's a rather life-consuming situation. Here are a few observations I have made in the last week and a half since the diagnosis was made:

1. People don't know what to say when you tell them your dad has cancer. It helps to share this news in the proximity of alcohol - when in doubt, take a swig. Applies to either party.

2. I didn't realize so many people were going to online medical school. Everyone, it seems, is an expert on all matters cancerous. Which is handy since every person's cancer is exactly the same and reacts exactly the same way to treatment... oh... wait.

3. It's hard to know what to say when people assure me he will be fine. He has a better chance of getting hit by a bus in the parking lot of the hospital than of the chemo shrinking the cancer... this is a direct quote from one of the doctors and I promise not as horrible as it sounds when in context of the conversation we were having.

4. My sister-in-law is a flat out, cold-souled bitch. If she caught on fire and were pushed off a cliff, the only way I would be sad is if I hadn't had a chance to participate. I don't use the word hate often. I use it every way possible about everything she is and stands for.

5. My biggest fear (besides my dad dying, but that seems a little wasteful to fear now, yes?) is that I will lose people in my life. I won't be around as much. When I'm here, I won't always be as fun. I will sometimes cry for no reason. More than I do now. I will need attention and ego stroking. More than I do now. I will not have as much energy to devote to being good to the people I love. I will be different. I'm scared people won't like me anymore, or as much. This is a silly fear given how amazing my friends and my boyfriend have been thus far and in every other crappy situation I've found myself in, but in the end we can all agree no one wants to hang out with a party pooper, and no one poops on a party more than cancer. Pun sort of intended.

6. I hate subcultures, but I find myself inexplicably drawn in. I hate ribbons, but I posted one on my myspace page. I hate that communities and support groups and entire societies with their own trends and language sprout up for every characteristic a human being can have. People with red hair, Catholics, red-headed Catholics... and I just wouldn't understand because I'm not in the group. Well, now I'm welcome to be part of the colon cancer culture, and as much as I don't want to be I'm also sort of curious as to what information I can find out that way. I wonder if it will offer support and a haven or if it will just piss me off to always have to talk about cancer there.

7. This sucks.