Ever hear you had the good cancer?
I’m certain you’ll agree that while breast cancer is many things, “good” isn’t one of them. What’s good is the diagnostic equipment that makes it easier to detect malignancies earlier than most other cancers. That, however, is a reflection on the tools, not the cancer, and some of us aren’t lucky regardless. If there were a good cancer, it would look very different from anything I’ve seen…
For one thing, Good Cancer has a varied wardrobe that does not feature shades of bubble gum. It smells clean, gives amazing foot rubs and has a voice like Adele. Because of this latter fact, Good Cancer gets frequent invites to perform at White House functions, after which Michelle Obama takes it for a tour of her garden where the two of them sample freshly picked, organic green beans while they discuss strategies for empowering the homeless.
“I’ll get the dishes,” says Good Cancer. “Why don’t you stroll the garden? The scent of roses and gardenias will do you good.” Good Cancer speaks with a British accent even lovelier than that of the woman who inhabits my GPS.
Before I retreat to the garden, I tussle Good Cancer’s hair and say, “You’re my dream cancer, the one I’ve waited for.” And, yes, if my cancer is elevated to the status of Good, it better be male because anything that grabs hold of my breasts and burrows in better look and act like Ryan Gosling. Or be cute and witty like Paul Rudd as opposed to, let’s say, Jennifer Aniston. I like Jen a lot, really I do, but not when it comes to this kind of intimacy and I suspect she shares my feelings. But that’s just me. Due to Good Cancer’s easygoing nature, it happily accommodates everyone’s preference.
But alas, I didn’t have Good Cancer. No, my cancer dressed like hell and had nose hairs sprouting from its nostrils. It scratched itself in dark, moist places, then slyly shook my hand, snickering that what I didn’t know had a decent chance of killing me.
Breast cancer bears a strong resemblance to Ted Bundy. It violates women’s bodies without their consent, leaving them maimed, traumatized and occasionally dead. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas is a cookie-toting Girl Scout by comparison because cancer doesn’t stop at Christmas. It ruins 365 days out of an entire year, and maybe the next one too, sometimes for the rest of what would have been a life. It even slaps around vulnerable children who haven’t had a chance to experience life and hate it yet. Or love it. We’ll never know. And that’s about as low as one gets.
If any cancer were good, you’d want to rub elbows with it, hang out, call it your friend. I’ve never met any cancer like that. The cancer I know is two-faced and sneaky. It creeps into your life, grabs you in a headlock and stabs you in the back. No, “good cancer” is an oxymoron. Those two words are diametrically opposed and should never be paired. A definition of “good” as it relates to cancer is when you’re lucky enough to catch the little bastard with its pants down. That’s when you take steady aim and shoot. If you hit the bull’s eye, don’t stop and take pity. Feel no remorse for it would not feel remorse for you. Just wipe your hands clean, smile like a ruthless murderer and show yourself out.