“The best drama comes from otherwise normal human living and the best comedy comes from awful shit.” Isn’t that brilliant? I wish I had said it. I was chatting with a friend about television series we both watch and like me, she is kind of drawn to the comedies about illness, addiction, criminal activity etc and she made that comment. Like me, again, she has recently suffered the unexpected loss of a loved one and had to deal with all that followed. Today my mother and I went to see about a grave marker. The lady that waited on us knows us all and was visibly upset about my sister. We saw one we both liked almost immediately but we did not want to order anything until her significant other could give his opinion. We were just doing the preliminary footwork. We were standing around chatting and the woman asked how I was doing. I assumed she was referring to my cancer so I said “almost done treatment”. She looked shocked and I couldn’t help but say “seriously? you didn’t think this hair was a fashion statement did you?”. She laughed and then told me about another woman she knows undergoing treatment whose hair came in gray and curly and how lovely it was. Then she launched into some pretty horrifying stories about people she knows with cancer that now have mets to the brain. Now my mother has just buried one daughter and the other has cancer. She looked shell shocked. This conversation went on for what seemed like forever until she paused in her litany of horror to mention how one of them got shingles in the midst of everything else and I pounced on that. I told my mother I needed to look into whether I was at greater risk for shingles having had radiation and after successfully changing the subject we made a hasty retreat. I had a phone conversation that went pretty much the same way over the weekend. Someone knew someone with the same diagnosis as myself and they died. I offered their stage may have been higher, their treatment not as aggressive, etc. and was told “If you can think that way, that’s good!” Thankfully, as my television preferences will attest, I have a pretty twisted sense of humor and I am able to laugh comments like that off and even make plenty of distasteful comments of my own (about my own situation, I would cut out my tongue before I would joke about anyone else’s cancer), but you gotta wonder what the thought process is when people let words just fall out of their open mouths with no supervision whatsoever. I mean, seriously?
Prior to that fun little field trip I had my radiation treatment. Today they had to take measurements and make plans for the final 8 treatments that will be just to the tumor bed itself. The two techs explained everything they were doing and said the doctor would be in to make his recommendations. My doctor was off today so it would be the “other guy”. I was drawn on and measured and repositioned and was lying on the table when the doctor came in. He said not one word to me. Never made eye contact or acknowledged me in any way at all. He peered at me and made a few comments to the techs and walked out. I felt like a disembodied boob. It was seriously the most uncomfortable feeling I have had since this entire thing started. Seriously.