You might not…
…want to read this if you are hyper-sensitive; just a warning because I wouldn’t want to offend.
Yesterday Tim and I went to the oncologist. It isn’t a stressful visit typically because we are at complete peace with the fact that he is well and will continue to be so. I would say the only anticipation comes from the emotional memory of SO many visits we’ve made over the past 12 years. If you’re holding your breath, don’t. He continues to be well and this year marks the year he is well an even amount of years he was sick. 6 1/2 years of leukemia and now six years of healed!
OK, so here is where some might say we are being insensitive because we made a funny about cancer. We cracked ourselves up. We think we have earned the right to poke fun at the whole thing. After all we fought the dang disease for so long and it wasn’t just with Tim. I walk around with one lung, my mom almost lost her colon and don’t think we never met anyone else sitting in that chemo room day after day. We would never poke fun at someone who just had a heart attack or suffered from some ailment we knew nothing about. But we’ll poke fun at ourselves.
Here is how it started. This was a new cancer center for us so we didn’t know what we were doing at first. After scouring the very teeny parking lot it was clear we needed to use the garage. Most cancer centers we’ve been to have valet parking because they realize their patients are SICK and they can’t walk far. Well, it went something like this:
Me: Oh, look down there. There’s a parking garage.
We drive the block to the garage and pull in. Big sign that says they appreciate their nurses (good) and that parking is free.
Me: I’m glad they appreciate their nurses. How about appreciating their sick patients too and offering a better parking situation for them? I mean, how are some of them supposed to walk this far?
Tim: Yeah, but you can park for free!
Me: Why don’t you make up a song about it? You know, like Free Credit Report dot com?
Tim: You think? Give me just a second. I’m thinking.
I patiently waited. As we drove the entire 7 levels of the parking garage with not a spot to be had, I waited.
Tim: How’s this? (sung to a rock tune) You can park for free! During your chemotherapy!
Jill: It’s good, but you can do better. We can do better let’s see. How about: You can park for free! During your chemotherapy! You’ll have to walk for a mile! But don’t let that steal your smile! After all you still have hair! And if you like you can take the stairs!
We burst into fits of laughter. We were tickled pink with ourselves. Again, I realize to some this may be offensive but to us it was funny. Now when we walked into the office we didn’t know what to expect. Our experience is that you have one of two situations in an oncologist’s waiting area. Either everyone looks as scared and sad as they’ve ever been and they just STARE at you or it’s lighthearted and people are just looking for things to lighten the mood. I personally think this has a lot to do with how talented the office staff is at handling their positions with grace and humor and true care. We got the latter yesterday. We were glad.
We tumbled into the office still giggling and marveling at how Diane Warren/David Foster-ish we were and the receptionist immediately asked, “What has the two of you laughing?”
Me: Uh…nothing. We just made up a little song. We’ll behave, I promise.
Receptionist: Can I hear it?
We did tell her about the song though and the hilarity of it all because somehow, there is humor in the belief that if you let people park for free, they won’t care that they’re going into chemo.
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