I’m taking an informal poll. Are you a member of one of these wide-open, free-wheeling families who discuss openly and without shame their colon polyps?
Merciful heavens (as my prudish mother would say), I am so NOT.
I cannot remotely imagine how such a topic would everrrrr be breached over our family dinner table. (“Aunt Iola, please pass the okra — and while you’re at it, how bout giving us the deets on those nasty colon polyps you’ve been going on about?”)
Is this a thing in anyone’s household anywhere?
I guess the people who wrote the family medical history questionnaire I just took are hopeful there are far more communicative families in this world than mine.
These smart people are just trying to figure out how genetics might have led to my out-of-left-field breast cancer diagnosis. But for seemingly endless pages, I had to check a box for every last blood relation, cousin, aunt, uncle, and grandparent — living and dead — as to whether they’d ever had breast or ovarian cancer and if they ever had colon polyps.
Again, I ask you (picture my eyes bugging at the thought of it): HOW WOULD I KNOW THIS?! In what weird alternate family universe would these words ever be uttered!?
So I checked each box with a resounding “Don’t Know,” all the while snickering at the mental picture of me chatting away with abandon about colon polyps with the likes of Cousin Joe or Grandma Ethel.
There’s not much funny to be found in the cancer realms, so the very words colon polyps have become a source of much-needed comedy for me. I mean, it really is fun to say.
I cling to the weirdly funny bits like a lifeline.
Like the day Will said, “Well, if you do have to have chemo, at least you could get a wig without grey streaks in it.” (Clearly, he has the gift of edification.)
Or how I now refer to my beat-up little Frankenstein boob as “a dented can.”
Or how absurdly comical it is that the world’s most modest mouse is now flashing her pitiful rack all over multiple counties.
I’m sure Julia Louis-Dreyfuss has far wittier observations; maybe we can compare notes someday while wearing matching pink knit caps.
But whatever, you do what you can.
My life these past few weeks have been a series of Melrose Place-esque cliffhangers (minus Heather Locklear and the midriff-bearing tops). Do I have the weird genetic mutation like Angelina Jolie? If so, a double-lopping is likely in order. Is the tumor they removed high-risk for coming back? If so, chemo (and a brown streakless wig) are probably on the docket. I should find out the verdict on both counts this week.
I’ve had doctors say both scenarios are unlikely. But still.
It’s a lot to think about. So I generally try not to. I try to laugh. And I try to pray.
And I try to say colon polyps ten times real fast.
Now that’s comedy gold.