Cancer the Crab

Cancer is a bummer. It happens, though (as bummers are wont to do).

My mom was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago and after 2 months of treatment and 1 month of recovering at home, she is just now beginning to get some of her oomph back. She sounds almost like her old self. Almost. Things are definitely on the up and up, it just takes a while I guess. She’s kicking booty, though- she’s a badass.

I didn’t talk about it much with anyone while it was happening. Cancer is a bit of a bomb to drop on people you don’t know very well, so I just didn’t tell many people. The one time I really talked about it was over winter break with my dear friends Lily and Julian. We were sitting by Julian’s fireplace after a hike with the dogs, lots of rounds of Bananagrams, and gobs of bread, cheese, and tea in our tummies, and I kind of lost it a little bit. I dropped the cancer bomb on them and they accepted it and shared its weight with me. Lily and Julian sat there with me and held my hand and allowed me to completely let go. It helped a lot. Hot tea and a good cry by the fire with your favorite people is incredibly healing.

That was a month and a half ago. About a week ago, Lily’s dad, Michael, was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and it has spread to his liver. It’s bad.

The universe is a tricky thing. It does weird stuff. Weird stuff like take the whole cancer thing, flip it around on one of the people that helped you the most, and then give it an awful twist. A ‘HEY there’s cancer in your dad’s liver’ kind of twist.

You’re probably thinking ‘wow, she sounds really bitter and resentful’, and you’re partly right. I do resent cancer. Cancer sucks. Bad shit happens, though, sometimes to the people we love and we have very little control over it. I’m not bitter, just sad.

Lily is 2500 miles away at the moment, so I can’t quite give her the squeeze I would like to yet. Instead I made a list of my top 10 absolute favorite songs of all time because music is nice to listen to when there is no one around to hug. There is no order and no theme. These songs have nothing in common except that they all make my stomach go whoosh and my heart go pitter pat.

Stevie Wonder – Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Beyonce – Halo

The Black Keys – Meet Me In The City

Said The Whale – The Light Is You

Tower of Power – Diggin’ On James Brown

Paul Simon – Graceland

Raphael Saadiq – The Big Easy (feat. The Infamous Young Spodie & The Rebirth Brass Band)

The Black Keys – Tighten Up

India.Arie – I Am Not My Hair

Florence + The Machine – Dog Days Are Over

Alright so I know I said this was a list of my top 10 favorite songs of all time in no particular order, but I was fibbing. I’m sorry. This last song makes my top 10 list into a top 11 list and is also my absolute no question number one favorite song of all time. I think you’ll find it worthwhile.

Taj Mahal – She Rock Me To My Soul

Lily, you make my stomach go whoosh and my heart go pitter pat. I love you SO MUCH. I am thinking of you. See you soon.

Everyone, world, universe, I wish you all love and light.


p.s. Dear all crabs: I apologize for the title of this post. I did not mean to insult you or hurt your feelings. It’s not your fault somebody made a constellation out of you and then named a disease after it. I don’t blame you in the least. You are all great, keep doing your crabby things.


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