A few weeks before I came to Chicago, I was at my doctor's office in California, getting my annual physical and a referral for my stomach trouble. By way of asking him to examine me double-good, I said, "I'm about the same age my dad was when he died of cancer, so I'm kind of paranoid about getting cancer this year." Father's kind of cancer? Lung. Smoker? Yes. It didn't exactly light the examining fire under my doctor, but then again, how is he supposed to respond?
But I have always expected to get cancer this year. A friend said that I seemed relieved when they told me about the kidney cancer, because I'd finally gotten it, and it was so manageable. At least when our deepest fears are realized, we can get on with dealing with them. So, just a few hours after the initial "do you mind if I sit down?" of the diagnosis, I felt good. Not only had I been proved fucking right, but I'd gotten off easy.