I walked into my local today for the regular: half-tube with the light blue cap filled with my juicy, A+ blood.
The sweet lady who has checked me in for the past year smiles. She looks relieved. “You look great, Jennifer. How are you doing?” “Fine,” I say, holding up my crossed fingers. That little sign, the crossed fingers for hope for continued NED (no evidence of Disease), told her she could now admit how worried she’d been about me all year. Sweet.
But then this started, “My sister got cervical cancer when she was forty-two and my mom got ovarian cancer when she was forty-four.” I interrupt her to tell her how lucky her mom is to be alive. She hadn’t considered this. “Yes,” I tell her. Statistically speaking, a very small percentage of women with the real O.C. live more than five years. She’s a winner!
The hint was not taken. She responded with, “Why are women so cursed?”
“I’m not cursed,” I responded, smiling. And truly, I don’t feel cursed at all. And why did she? Both her sister and her mother are survivors. She still has them in her life.
She looked at me a little afraid she had insulted me. “No, no,” I said, reaching across the table and touching her hand. “It’s just that I don’t feel cursed. Do you?”
She was so confused, but I had to go. Get my blood drawn.
As I sat there, I thought of exactly why I don’t feel cursed.
First of all, stuff happens, and that’s that. But secondly, not that I would EVER be one of those people who feels lucky to have cancer (GOD NO), but I think about it this way: If you had to choose between:
a) not having any idea whether you were going to live more than four more years and therefore living each day with love and like it was your last or
b) feeling confident that you had a full life ahead of you and continuing to live half-consciously and doing things you don’t like to do, and complaining about everything that is even slightly lacking in your life
Which would you choose? Which would be better? Which would make you feel cursed?
Just a question that got me thinking.
carpe diem, people.