Saturday, August 9, 2014

My Sister Has Cancer


My sister has cancer.

Her diagnosis comes 7 weeks to the day of my own diagnosis and to say we are shell-shocked is an understatement.  You simply could not write this plot if you tried and so it feels too surreal to even begin to accept as a reality.

We do not know the type or the stage of her cancer. She is being scheduled for a PET scan to find her cancer this week so hopefully in a week or so we will have the answers we are looking for, though no details will change our reality, which is that my sister has cancer.

My sister and I are irreverent and sensitive and we hold our emotions in our hands, where we can pass them out as we see fit. Sometimes,  they come in the form of a sucker punch to the jaw when they are thrown with the full force of our tempers behind them and occasionally, we allow heaving tears to escape but for the most part our emotions remain firmly in our hands, controlled and protected by an impenetrable wall of snarky sarcasm.  

We are not criers; in fact, tears both annoy and unsettle us.  Now, we have of course shed tears like everyone but she and I handle grief and sadness differently than most,  with a borderline manic amount of inappropriate humor.  For this reason, we left the doctor, diagnosis freshly in hand and we headed to town for a drink.  Our eyes moistened slightly as we talked about the absurdity and phoned the parents but we kept them in check with jokes about BOGO chemo and cancer cruises. We bellied up to a bar for a drink and we continued to shock patrons and employees alike,  joking about the probability that one of us obviously ran a kitten fighting ring in a previous life for this type of karma kick.
I went home that afternoon, exhausted and shell-shocked. Our irreverence is what saves us, but it is most certainly exhausting.

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