Two of my dear friends are dealing with cancer in very different ways. It’s strange to watch. It’s likely even more strange, frightening, and everything else, to be the ones going through it.
This time a few years ago exactly, my father died of cancer. And each time I go to the doctor’s office and have to shelve the long list of family history, I am reminded of cancer’s proximity.
Now that I’m 30, post children, and sitting with the wonder and fragility of life, I can’t help but be obsessive about the many things we ignore. Oftentimes, we ignore what’s important because we’re afraid. We’re afraid to cross the aisle, to swim in the grey laminate that divides “us and them.” We are afraid to realize that there is nothing that truly divdes us. It is a matter of timing, genetics, and cards. Who’s getting dealt what card today? And when? My friend, Alexa writes of this often.
While not all cancers are the same, my friend Scosha’s PSA yesterday was the reminder that I needed. It was a gift born from her own diagnosis. A gift from a lightening rod of a woman. A gift I hope to pass on to you. Get your breasts checked, friends.
(Photograph: Saul Leiter, In My Room)