No Lack of Imagination

I have a belly ache. I have had it since Wednesday. It is a strange, new pain and it hurts when I press on my stomach. It isn’t debilitating and so I have been biding my time waiting for Monday when I can make an appointment with the doctor. That is -when I haven’t been freaking out that I have some terrible disease. I have an overactive imagination- especially when it comes to possible health problems. Yesterday, my husband suggested I go to the pharmacy and ask about over the counter medications. When I described my symptoms to the pharmacist he innocently asked me, “do you still have your appendix?”  I spent the rest of the afternoon poking myself in various places in my stomach trying to determine if I was about to die from a burst appendix- thank you Mr. Pharmacist.

I often imagine the worst: a headache is an aneurism, indigestion a possible heart attack, stomach pain an appendix about to burst, irregular bleeding ovarian cancer and the list goes on. My stomach pains woke me up at 4 a.m. and I came really close to driving myself to the emergency room. In the morning light things seemed less drastic but let’s not forget that in May my man’s innocent looking bump turned out to be a high grade Sarcoma- so maybe I am not so crazy after all.

Our daughter spends a lot of time in her head too. Today as we were driving home from a lovely walk she told her brother, “shhh, I am trying to daydream.” She schedules time for her daydreams often announcing, “I am going up to my room to daydream.” I on the other hand just get taken away by my day dreams- they come for me when I am walking, driving, talking to my man- poof I am gone and most of the time it is to a very dramatic place. Luckily according to this article, it is a good thing. But sometimes it takes me away from my real life.

Last night I dutifully tuned in to watch Stand Up 2 Cancer. It is a great cause and it was a good effort. I have some issues with the telethon format and personally think the medium could be modernized-if I wasn’t a person affected by cancer I am not sure I would have watched. But  there are enough people touched by cancer that it isn’t an issue. The statistics are staggering- 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will be ‘touched’ by cancer. In my immediate family alone – my mother (breast cancer), my father (melanoma), both of my grandmothers (breast and throat) and now my husband (sarcoma). It’s no wonder that I imagine that some day I could be next. Especially since as the show so bluntly put it, “cancer doesn’t care,” that I have had my share- there is unfortunately no such thing.

I asked my man what he thought of the show. He didn’t really watch. He wandered in and out of the room as I was watching. “First of all,” he stated, “it reminded me of cancer and I don’t want to be reminded so I didn’t like it.” He was also disappointed that it wasn’t stand up comedy- that would have been great. Finally he remarked, “it never occurred to me to donate any money, but that’s just me because I’m an ass.” Well honey then I am an ass too. I must guiltily admit that I didn’t donate either, (but I will). Maybe our neutral or slightly disinterested attitude is simply a defense against too much reality. That’s the line I am taking anyway.

I don’t know why I fight it: our reality isn’t  bad and here are a few pics from the last few days just to prove it. Corny as it sounds : this is how I stand up to cancer.


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