On Cancer

“Since your symptoms are persisting, we’d like to run some more tests including a cancer screening, if you are agreeable to that,” the doctor said.

Her words were not shocking to me. I’d done some research on my own and even considered cancer for what had been ailing me.

“Sure,” I said, “I just want to determine what is wrong.”

Regardless of the results of the test, my mind immediately went to how quickly I could get back into the weight room, one of my real true loves.

And with that, I found myself making an appointment to go and be screened for cancer.

I felt nothing in the process – no sadness or fear.


The morning of the appointment, I went to the hospital and signed in using a tablet.

They have better technology than public schools do, I thought to myself as I recalled being in elementary school in the late 80s and reading about how excited America was as Ronald Reagan was taking the office of the President of the United States in 1980 and what it held for the future.

I met the girl who would be administering my test. She was about my age – about 5’5″, blonde, and very pretty.

My new friend discussed the test with me and we were off! For some reason, the lights needed to be off and I laid on the bed in the freezing room with only the glow of the machine illuminating the room, as well as the young lady’s face.

The test began and she began evaluating the screen. I laid still and stared at the ceiling.

What if I do have cancer? 


My thoughts began to permeate my mind.

Is it worth fighting? I am so tired already and feel so beat down. 

Do I owe it to myself to fight? To my family? How about the people that came before me that had cancer and that didn’t have the same medical advancements and technology – do I owe it to them?

How much is this going to cost me? Is it worth it if I am going to die anyways?

To break the pattern, I looked over at my new friend to see if I could determine any type of tell in her face concerning the on-going test. She was very easy on the eyes and it was comforting as I tried to escape the thoughts passing through my head.

Who is going to pay for this? Next of kin would be my sister and I don’t want to burden her with either my care or my bills. She has her own life and her own family. She is overworked enough and she wouldn’t have the funds to afford this. The last thing I would want is for her to be burdened with my debt should I die.

The thought of dying didn’t scare me. It didn’t upset me nor did it make me happy. It just was. I peered over at my new friend who caught my glance and offered a smile and asked if I was okay to which I replied I was and thanked her for her consideration.

I’ve done so many things wrong in my life but I think atoned for them.

I began to think about the last five years of my life.

I’d be okay if I knew I was dying. I got farther in life than most people ever thought I would. Hell, I was told I would be dead at 21. I really worked to improve myself and change who I was and I was able to do that successfully. Not a lot of people can say they did that. I worked through difficult tribulations and trials. I made myself a better person and I tried to help people. Isn’t that what life is about?

My new friend again offered a smile but my thoughts began to sour.

If I did die, would anyone give a shit? Would they care? I’m tired of the posturing I see.

Would I have a funeral? Would anyone come to it? If so, what would they say?

I don’t believe in God, or any higher being, and I don’t believe in Heaven or Hell. I began to wonder if I made good on my purpose in life.

Did I do enough to try to make the world a better place than I found it?

And with that, the young lady announced we were done.

I asked her what her impressions of the reading were.

And I got this convoluted answer, “Well, I don’t see anything that stands out but I can’t really say for sure cause the Radiologist has to look at it and make the determination but I don’t think you have anything to worry about.”



A few days later I received the news I was negative for cancer.

But, my thoughts from the test continued to persist.


Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3 found in the public domain of the internet


16 thoughts on “On Cancer

  1. We all have existential thoughts and feelings, but they are still highly personal. When things like this happen to me, i realize that no matter how many caring people are around me I’m still in it alone. Does that make sense? Anyway, I’m glad the test was negative, and that you shared your thoughts with us.


    • I’ve felt alone most of my life. It isn’t necessarily anyone’s fault. Part of it is my DNA and part of it is my experiences.

      I am glad it was negative as well. Thank you for your thoughts.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I think we might have discussed this on your blog but by David Keirsey’s Temperament Sorter, I am a Mastermind Rational. Individuals in that category tend to be loners by trade and I think I fall perfectly into that category.

        They also tend to be very uncommon in society by pure numbers – making up about 1% to 2% of society thus I think another reason to feel alone. I’ve never really felt like I fit anywhere.

        Liked by 3 people

      • I’ve never taken that test before. I was assessed with the Myers Briggs test. I’m an INFP – they call that the healer. Here are some famous INFP’s: Princess Diana, Audrey Hepburn, Fred Rogers, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Tori Amos, Morrissey, Chloe Sevigny, William Shakespeare, Bill Watterson, A.A. Milne, Helen Keller, Carl Rogers, and Isabel Briggs Myers (creator of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator). Kurt Cobain shares my birthday too – Scary lol! You always get me thinking, Jarrod. You must be a mastermind 🙂


    • Mary, I am sorry I missed your comment the first time through. Thank you for writing me. It is always a pleasure to hear from you.

      Thanks for the well wishes! I am glad too! My mind moves to those thought patterns often. I think about abstract ideas all the time.

      I hope you have been well. I haven’t seen anything from you in my reader in a while but I haven’t been reading as much the last week. I will visit your blog again soon! It is one of my favorites!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I really enjoy your site, too, Jarrod. I haven’t been writing daily. I’m working on a project that is taking more of my time but I do not want to lose contact on WordPress just because I achieved my initial goal. I really look forward to being in touch 🙂


  2. This really hit home. I learned yesterday that there is a ‘shadow’ on my most recent chest x-ray. I’m not scared, more anxious to have an answer…my partner is quietly freaking out and I find myself thinking it terms of what I can leave him to make his life easier when I’m gone…

    I hope the test is negative…but if it isn’t I know that I’ve done the best I can do with my life…I know that I was loved and I know that when faced with questions of right and wrong I always tried to do what was right. In that regard I feel I can go with a relatively clear

    Next week I will find out if my doctors need to do a biopsy…I know that the end has to begin at some point….I hope that this isn’t that point…but if it is I will do my best with it.


    • Robert, thank you for sharing this very intimate detail about your life. I will keep you in my thoughts during the coming days.

      Your mindset is the same as mine. Oddly, I have encountered people who find this morbid or negative in some regard. The thought isn’t that we wish to die. I think more so we have just arrived at the conclusion this is a potential fate. Like you, I try to live each day without regret and let those I care about know that they are important to me. In this regard, if this turns out to be my last day, in my final moments I am satisfied knowing I did the best I could.

      I wish you the best Robert.


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