Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Scourge

I don't know about you, but cancer has got me a little scared.

Yet another person I know just died from cancer. She was 40. I worked with her at the book store when I was in college the first (second, third – depends on how you count) time. She was a pretty thing, smart, spoiled. I lost track of her after she moved to Milwaukee, but I saw her picture in Madison Magazine last year or so, as she was ever the mover and shaker.

It's quite a shocker. In my inferiority-complex way, I never think of the elite as being quite as normal and feeling and vulnerable to the mundane as the rest of my social circle. It's rude of me, really. But there she was, the trophy wife who couldn't buy or beautify herself out of her illness. I'm upset with myself, and feeling terrible for her and her family – she who will never see her daughter grow up or her husband grow old; her husband and daughter, mother and siblings, and the rest of her relatives and friends who watched her struggle with cancer for nine years.

I've thought about her over the years, wondering what she was up to, where or if she worked. Surely she was doing something glamorous; she had doors open to her simply by virtue of her birth, surname, and good looks. But fighting cancer is never glamorous.

It took us a while to like each other. But we did. I wish I'd seen her again before she died.


The Rotten Correspondent said...

One of my closest friends lost his best friend of 30+ years today because of a cancer he didn't even know he had until Monday. My friend is beside himself - with very good reason.

Cancer scares the shit out of me.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

It scares me too. I cringe whenever I hear someone talk about it. I couldn't envisage ever not being here for my daughter.

Crystal xx

Amy said...

So many people have it these days. Every week it seems I hear of another person with it or who just died from it. I know I'm getting older, but holy crap--another and another and another. Makes me want to eat organic and move to some remote spot with less pollution.

laurie said...

what kind of cancer?

and i hate to tell you this, amy, but organic etc won't help.

my brother's wife developed breast cancer about 18 months ago. she did everything right: she's a vegetarian, she is very slender, she breast-fed all three babies, she runs, she grows her own food, eats only organic....

she's doing fine, now, but she had both breasts remoed AND underwent chemotherapy.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

you have an award at my place...

Stepping Over the Junk said...

Yeah, this is difficult to hear about someone you dream is living life differently. I'm sorry. It scares me too.

Amy said...

Welcome back, Laurie. I've forgotten how nice it is to play in the woods for a week, not travel from one spot to the next day after day.

RC, thanks. You rock.

SOTJ, it was one of those OH MY GOD moments, where you wonder what the hell happened.

It occurred to me that our neighbor's daughter was 37 (my age now) when she died from cancer. The whole neighborhood was very upset. She was so kind and beautiful. She had three kids. Eric said this was about the age when his friends started dying of cancer. It's just sad. And so unfair.