Saturday, January 16, 2010

They All Died

Lou and I met a lot of people on the cruise. It is fun to sit down next to someone and have a nice chat and find out where they are from and where they have travelled to. Even when we end up sitting with people who are having a miserable time, we still have a good time because we laugh about it later and tell each other we are glad that we are having fun.

Well, there was one conversation that really upset me on the cruise.  I had been standing alone by the rail on the Promenade Deck late one afternoon, watching the ship prepare to pull away from the dock on one of the islands. (Lou was walking laps around the deck.) A little crowd of ladies wearing a lot of perfume joined me at the rail, and I had to escape because the scents were irritating my cough.

So I went and sat upwind of them, next to some guy. We were talking about perfume and stinky candles and potpourri, when his wife joined us. The whole time, I am coughing this dry little asthma cough. We were having a great time till she asked about my health. Once I verified that my lovely hairstyle was the result of chemo, she started to tell me stories about everyone she knew with cancer. The problem was, everyone she talked about had died.

By this time, Lou had joined us, and I shot him this amused look like, can you believe this lady?

But what got me was when she started talking about this woman she knew who had a little dry cough that would not go away. (I am still coughing as we sit there.) The woman eventually goes to the doctor and finds out that she has lung cancer and is dead soon afterward.

I am trying to be polite, but now all I can think of is that my cough is not asthma at all -- it is the cancer and soon I will be dead too. Her husband was looking at her with this horror-struck expression, as though watching a train wreck in slow motion. At this point, even she seemed to realize that her long list of dead friends was probably not what I wanted to hear about.

So, I made a big show of looking at my watch and exclaimed that we had better get moving if we wanted good seats for the comedian, and Lou and I took off. We kept running into them for the rest of the cruise, but we always seemed to be rushing off somewhere else, no time to chat.

Gosh, I had forgotten all about this until I heard that my CT Scan showed that none of the tumors grew. Some little part of me had been secretly worried about my persistent cough. Very happy to report that it is just asthma.


lori said...

Congrats, Karen, on the great news! Much love and blessings to you and Lou. ~Lori U.~

Lisa Vasques said...

It never ceases to amaze me how insensitive some people can be! I personally think you should have tossed her overboard, but that's just me! I am so glad your test results were so positive!


susan said...

I get it - we hear the same stuff about pancreatic cancer (which Jon is surviving) - I just try to realize that all people can share is their experience and maybe they should re-think that and consider their audience....??? Sound like both the cruise and the san were a success - that is great news. Gonna email you some other info on our house...hugs, susan

Karen said...

Well, my mother had a very aggressive, rare form of cancer found by accident and guess what? SHE LIVED!
Still living as a matter of fact and almost 70!
So there!
Lovely pictures and you look like you're having so much fun.

Robyn said...

Loved the pics and the stories...
Your ears should have been burning last night. Talked to Beth Salzman and she asked about you. I told her I had been following your exploits here. I recounted some the really good stories-nothing about "batwoman", though. Beth has six screws in her head so when we ask her if she has a screw loose, she can really check! (Oh, and she didn't die...though really not the same).
She says hello and misses your smiling face.
I'll have to talk to Lisa about dumping people overboard, "tasing" is much easier...she should know that!
Am so happy to hear about your scan keep hanging in there...
Am envious of your cruise...looked wonderful as did you!
Hope to see you soon!
Miss you!

Daria said...

Great news on the CT scan.