…I want to preserve this memory, because even though my life in October was totally freaky, this was also kinda funny.
Halloween day. I’d been diagnosed with cancer a few weeks earlier, October 13th. After that, I’d spent the next two weeks fasting and drinking noxious stuff and swallowing cameras and getting bone marrow extractions and stuff. All I had left to do was hear the results from my gastrointestinal doctor. A question weighed rather heavily on my mind: was my cancer localized, or was it everywhere?
Halloween is my favorite holiday, and always has been. I love the idea that once a year, people are encouraged to put on a costume and transform themselves into something else. That year, because I had longer hair than I’d had in a lifetime, I decided to be Wednesday Addams.
Halloween day at my workplace is crazy. My boss throws an enormous (costume mandatory) party, caters food, hires a tent and a band, and holds a costume contest. There was a group that dressed up as the rest of the Addams Family, and I joined them for the costume contest.
We won second place! The joy of the day carried me through, except for one thing.
Chance had it that my meeting with the GI doctor was on Halloween day, in the middle of the party. The last time I’d gone to meet him, I was alone, and had to deal with his news that he found cancer in my duadanum…alone. So this time I talked one of my coworkers into going with me.
She was dressed up as a genie that day, a pun on her name, Genie. She looked awesome, and was kind enough to come with me.
Neither of us bothered to change before we went to the GI doctor’s office. We walked in, Wednesday Addams and a genie. Everyone stared, of course, and we had to explain that we were in the middle of a mandatory work party…
Then we sat in the exam room waiting for Dr. Gordon.
He stepped in and blinked a few times. I was anxious, of course, so I spoke before he’d even opened his folder.
“So how much cancer do I have?”
He stared at me sideways. “Um…one question first, because I really feel like I’m talking to someone else. Wednesday Addams?”
“It’s localized — you only have that one spot of cancer, and it’s well-behaved.”
I felt so happy! In the end, perhaps it was the best ever Halloween.
He spent the rest of the exam staring from one to the other of us. Genie…Wednesday. Wednesday…Genie. “I’m sorry, it’s hard to focus,” he said.
I didn’t care. I was too happy about the results. “I’ll see you again next Halloween,” I said.
From now on, I’m totally scheduling my visit to his office on Halloween day, and I’m going as Wednesday Addams.