I hadn’t really planned to write a post this month – I’m trying hard not to think right now – but someone brought up the old “at least” again, and it was too much to ignore.
“At least it’s not cancer,” they say, when you tell them you have a disease. Any disease. Lupus, fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s, double pneumonia… it doesn’t matter. Cancer is the worst of the worst.
I remember when people began talking about AIDS, even before they knew what it was. All they knew was that it was a scary disease that killed people. But hey, “at least it’s not cancer.”
You say you got hit by a drunk driver and have 17 broken bones, a ruptured spleen, and a punctured lung? “At least it’s not cancer.”
Then there are all these pregnancies where people say, “I just hope the baby is healthy.” What if the baby isn’t healthy? “At least it’s not cancer.”
So here I am, with more “not cancers” than I can count on one hand, trying not to fret about this Thursday, when I go for still more tests on the quest to see whether I have cancer. And I wondered. If with any other disease, people tell you, “At least it’s not cancer,” then what do they say if it is cancer?