Breast Cancer

By W.R. Jones

redtowel.jpg  Imagine the sinking dread that washes over her as she first touches that lump that should not be there.

    For breast cancer week my wife got people to pledge money for her to walk in circles.  Her time during the 24 hour walkathon was 5:00AM to 7:00AM.  This was on a Sunday morning so I went with her.  Normally we walk 7 to 8 miles every Sunday staring at 7:00 and during the weekdays get up at 4:00AM so this would be a “walk in the park” for us so to speak.  She told me the walk was at a local high school and since we would be getting there while it was still dark we should take a flashlight.

    I told her that was nuts.  At the high school with hundreds of people walking at night they would have to have the stadium lights on and everyone would walk on the track around the football field.  Nope.  We arrived in the dark and there were very few lights at the school.  We were walking in the dark on a field next to the school.  Going round and round in the mud for 2 hours.  As I walked I wondered what type of idiot would devise this scheme for raising money. 

    Why in the world would you require someone to walk in circles to pledge money for some cause?  Pledge the damn money and shut up.  If you won’t part with your dollars until someone does something, have them do something useful.  I pledge X dollars for you to volunteer at the hospital for 2 hours, or clean up graffiti for 2 hours, or paint city hall, or serve food at the homeless shelter, or plant trees, etc.

    I had lunch with a woman here at work not long ago.  She told me her sister has breast cancer and is presently having chemotherapy.  The concern caused by her sister’s diagnosis caused this woman to examine her own breasts whereupon she discovered a lump.  She went to her doctor who verified that lump and found another in her other breast.  He scheduled a mammogram.  When she returned to his office for the results he told her the mammogram was normal, she was fine.  She told him it could not be normal she had lumps.  That was why he sent her there.  “Oh, OK, let’s schedule an ultrasound.”  He scheduled the ultrasound for a month later.  I told her to find another doctor.

    I also told her I should probably have a little looksee at her breasts as a sort of second opinion.  In retrospect I should have kept that comment to myself.  Now I have these three claw marks running from under my left hand jaw across my face to the right hand side hairline. 

    I’m asking for help here.  I need a plausible explanation for these scratches.  It doesn’t have to be super believeable just plausible.  Here’s what I’ve got so far –  I was at a rock concert standing in one of those moss pits when I was picked up and waved across the crowd.  The group holding me were particulary long armed and held me so high that when I went under an unconnected light fixture the three wires; hot, neutral, and ground, scratched my face.  Hell, that’s a pretty good story, I think I’ll go with that. 

This entry was posted in On Suffering, Painting, Rants. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Breast Cancer

  1. Janet says:

    Bill, your walking in circles sounds a lot like an American Cancer Society Relay for Life event. While I agree that no one should need to walk in circles to raise money for such causes, I believe the simple fact is, many people just want to see some kind of “immediate return” on their investment. Cancer research just takes time and in our “go, go, go” society, research takes too much time for folks to see “some bang for the buck!” That’s my thought, anyway!

    Now, I know you LOVE to joke around. I love to read your entries on your blog for just that reason. HOWEVER, as a 4 year 2 month breast cancer survivor, I may see the humor in the whole affair now, but back then, I was just plain scared. My doctors kept telling me there was nothing to worry about, they just wanted “to make sure.” But that did nothing to stop me from worrying.

    In short, you would’ve had a whole lot more than scratches if it were me!!! :-)

    Still, don’t stop being yourself!


  2. 100swallows says:

    Such a skillful, kind, deserved, box in the ears! I wish someone I know would let you do that when I need one, Janet.

  3. kevmoore says:

    My Mother died from Breast cancer at 52. I tried to deal with it with humour, and must admit, I had to duck when I ventured that she could get a job as an amazonian spear thrower after she’d had her breast removed. Despite having to deal with her idiot son, she handled her final months with such dignity. I’ve done a few shows for the Breast Cancer charities since then. The daftest thing I did for charity was pedal a virtual thirty miles sat on an exercise bike next to the reception desk on a large cruise ship in aid of the Tsunami victims. Surely surfing a giant wave wouldve been more appropriate?
    Hey Bill, Ive come up with an excuse for your wounds.
    You were going to an X-MEN fancy dress party as Cyclops, and you got into an argument with Wolverine about who was going to ask Storm on a date, he whacked you with his triple knife thingy…oh no, hang on, then you’ve got to deal with the Storm issue…erm..okay, Wolverine waas trying to hit on Storm and you were the perfect gentleman and intervened, thereby sustaining your nasty injury. Sorted!

  4. wrjones says:

    Very sorry to hear that Kevin. My mother also had breast cancer but was a survivor.

    I would like to sympathize with the long bike ride, but on a cruise ship? That 30 miles won’t even work off the midnight buffet.

    My wife and I are going on a 2 week cruise in December. I’ll keep you in mind while I ride the bikes in the gym. I’m determined to do a minimum of 10 minutes a day. That should keep me in top form at the table.

    I think that story is workable. My wife is so pissed off about some other little thing I did (can’t imagine what) that she has avoided me for days. I’m practically healed. I’ve been using a combination WD40 and bee’s wax on the wounds. I’m toying with the idea of telling her the scars have always been there – just check our wedding pictures dear. They are so faded you can’t see a thing in them.

  5. kevmoore says:

    WD40s good…that way, when the wife lunges for you, its lubricative properties allow you to slip right away.And you won’t rust.Or squeak.

  6. kevmoore says:

    P.S. I read somewhere that someone had worked out the formula for the amount of weight you gain in a week on a cruise. I looked back at my two years eating my way around the med and the caribbean and suddenly realised why I couldnt see my feet.
    Of course, ever conscious of body image in my profession, I took steps to rectify that immediately.
    I had my feet lengthened.

  7. lbtowers says:

    That visual is bummin’ me out kevmoore. Let me keep that Mick Jagger rock star fantasy.

    Aside from the serious nature of your post Bill, I really like your painting. And I’m usually not that nice am I?

  8. 01varvara says:

    Hmm… you deserved it. Nevertheless, you are a good fellow underneath it all.


  9. wrjones says:

    Kevin – forwarned is forarmed. I’m making an appointment with my podiatrist today. By my on-the-napkin calculations, using a full length mirror and my custom beer goggle extenders, I should only require an additional 5 inches on my feet to be able to determine if I’ve got my socks on.

    Thanks, Lisa. Christmas must be near, eh?

    01varvara – I deserved it, how can you say that? I was only trying to be helpful by giving the woman a very important somewhat important not so important ok worthless second opinion. It had nothing to do with my prurient interests. Not a thing, nope, un-uh, no mam, not a chance, no way.
    Trust me on this,
    Dr. Pure Thoughts

  10. Rebecca says:

    Bill, I often ask Eric to give me breast exams, to which he exclaims, “They feel good to me!” After a couple of years of getting great test results, I decided to also do the checkups myself, as recommended by the doctor. My basic lesson in self discovery which keeps me from running to doctor every month is this: When I find a lump, I go to the other breast and if I find one in the same spot over there, I’m good! Symmetry is great in booby lump science. Another lesson: Men don’t feel lumps inside the tissue, they are apparently shallow in this regard, and seem more concerned with the outer package!

  11. wrjones says:

    Rebecca – If the male wants you to completely undress during or after the exam it probably isn’t very thorough from a medical standpoint.

    I once saw a cartoon where the Dr. had the female completely nude and was holding her finger saying, “OK, now let’s have a little look see at that splinter.” This may have been Eric.

    If you need a second opinion you can always come see Dr. Feedgood.

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