When I tell people my husband has been receiving treatment for cancer, many ask—almost reflexively—“What kind?”
After thoughtful consideration, much of it conducted in waiting rooms, doctors’ offices, and pharmacy lines, I’ve decided this is not the most appropriate, or helpful, response.
At fifty-seven, I am sometimes fixated on causes of death for folks my age and younger. Hoping, I guess, that I might avoid their fates if I just have the facts. Take a different route, get a second opinion, stop the unhealthy habit.
So I get it, the curiosity. I just don’t like it.
If the answer to the question “What kind of cancer?” turns out to be one of the more aggressive types, will you label my husband a goner? If it’s categorized as “lifestyle related,” will you condemn him?
Each time I’m asked this question, I’m taken back to occasions when I’ve inquired, or wondered, upon hearing such announcements from others. All the times I made assumptions. I hope I never do that again.
From where I sit now, in a chair beside my husband as he receives chemotherapy infusions or next to him on the couch as he rests after radiation, the only real question is, “What can I do?”