Monday, June 13, 2011

873 If You Don't Say it, it Isn't There

873 If You Don’t Say it, it Isn’t There

Cancer!  There, you heard it.  Or read it.  We are superstitious about this.  If we don’t say it, it isn’t there. If we DO, say it, we have it.  Once we have it, we talk about it a lot because it dominates our lives.

Survival rates are going up.  This is good.  But the fear levels remain.  We give it names (“the critter,” “the Big C,” “the thing.”)  We think strange things (If they hadn’t open me up, it wouldn’t have spread.)

We dread phrases from the doctors like “I can’t operate,” or “I’m afraid it’s spread from your (name organ) to your (name other organ.)” Or “once they see that spot on your lung in the x-ray, it’s gone too far to do much about.”

All that medical-speak boils down to five little words:  “you’re gonna die, probably soon.”  They don’t say that, of course.  And when you ask them if that’s what they mean, they’ll hem and haw and say things like “well, we don’t really know.”  And you leave the office and write your will, figure out what to say to loved ones and make nice on people you hate.

It’s not like heart attacks or diabetes or even AIDS.  It makes us hopeless and at the same time it makes us hopeful.  We say things like “I’m going to beat this thing.”  And sometimes we do.  But there’s always the lingering fear -- “‘it’ always wins.  And when it wins, that’s the end.”

Sudden, we can live with.  A stroke if we’re even aware it happens.  A broken bone -- it’ll heal.  Diabetes, if we can control it.

Chronic we can live with.  Arthritis, even the debilitating kind.  Back pain, bad knees, bad hips.

Alzheimer’s will affect those around us far more than we’ll realize the effects ourselves.

Cancer is different.  It has a life of its own and it’s feeding on yours.  So it plays games with your head.

Change your diet.  Eat only sprouts.  Stop drinking.  Stop smoking.  This’ll make it go away.  And maybe it will.  But it’s always the murderously crazy uncle living in the attic.

If we don’t have “it,” we never talk about it.  It might overhear us and pay us a visit, like the place and stay forever.

If you don’t say it, it isn’t there.



Shrapnel:

--Young minds want to know.  Does hot coffee go through you faster than coffee at room temperature?  It certainly seems to, but further study is needed.

--How long before Jack Kevorkian joins Elvis and Tupac.  The tabloids will have it first.  “KEVORKIAN FAKED HIS DEATH.”

--If you have a Linkedin account while holding a full time job, are you demonstrating employee disloyalty?  If people thought that way, Link’s IPO probably would have bombed.  We would be seen as not being team players.

I’m Wes Richards. My Opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com.
© WJR 2011

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