By: Mia L. Hazlett
“So how did you find out?” I asked Kay as we sat on her couch.
“The routine shit. I went in and had my pap. I thought nothing of it until I got a call to come in. I went into the office and she told me my pap came back abnormal. I asked what that meant? And she gave me some bullshit about ‘it’s really nothing to worry about, we just want to get a blood test.'”
“So she told you not to worry?”
“Yup, all casual. I gave the blood and left. I honestly didn’t think about it. I really didn’t start getting concerned until they called me in again. So I go in and then they start asking me a series of questions about symptoms. The shitty thing about it, I have like almost every possible symptom, but I thought it was just stress from the four different projects I’m working on at work.”
“Well what are they? Do you still have them? Sorry girl. That was stupid. That was so stupid. I don’t know, I just think you know… well you know…”
“Becky, I need you to do me a favor? You and Rick are going to have to get me through this. One of the things you’re going to have to get used to saying is cancer. I need you to be able to say it. I’ve thought about nothing but, for over a month now. And I can’t take you apologizing for everything that you say either. You have never apologized for anything for all of the years we have been friends, please don’t change on me now. It’s me Beck. I only have a month on you on this. And trust me, besides finally knowing that I have cancer, that’s it. Promise me you’ll learn about this with me?”
We were both crying by the time I scooted over and hugged Kay. “I promise Kay. I promise we will learn and go through this together. If I could switch places with you…”
“And you can’t say stupid shit like that. You should never want to have cancer. Shit, I don’t want cancer. So don’t say you would switch places with me. That’s just not the right thing to say. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.”
“Well now I can’t even apologize,” we broke into laughter for the first time that night. “And may I please point out something to you?” I held Kay’s hand.
“What would that be?”
“You have been dropping the S-bomb all night. You rarely swear, if ever. I’m just pointing that out, since we are talking about not changing.
“I’m angry Becky. I’m really angry. I’ve spent an entire lifetime being good and doing the right thing as much as possible. And for all the right moves, I have cancer. So I’m going to give myself a little treat as I get myself through this, I’m going to swear whenever I feel like it. So on the count of three at the top of your lungs, do it with me, one, two, three…”
“SHIT!” we yelled.