Finding out that a friend has cancer affects a person in two simultaneous ways: they are concerned for their friend’s well being but also reminded of their own mortality. It is confusing and sad and uncomfortable, and there’s nothing you can really offer your friend by way of comfort except to listen to whatever they have to say about it. It is particularly confusing when, for example, said friend is a 24 year old girl with breast cancer. I’m not gonna lie, I’m a little freaked out about the whole thing, but nowhere near as freaked out as my friend is (and boy, does this put certain things in perspective). She found out the day after her birthday, how unfair is that? My own birthday is in a few days, and now I just have kind of an ooky feeling about it. K seems pretty optimistic that all of her symptoms point to a benign tumor, but last night she was talking about chemo and buying wigs and wondering whether or not this would affect her fertility (she’s getting married next year, and she’s one of those girls who will want to start a family asap).
“It’s funny… When I was a kid, I thought grown-ups never worried about anything. I trusted my parents to take care of everything, and it never occurred to me that they might not know how. I figured that once you grew up, you automatically knew what to do in any given scenario. I don’t think I’d have been in such a hurry to reach adulthood if I’d known the whole thing was going to be ad-libbed.” – Calvin’s dad, Calvin and Hobbes