How Cancer Distorts the English Language

I’m an impatient person who is getting lots of lessons in patience lately. My life seems like a film shoot: wait, wait—a flurry of activity—and then more waiting.

I just got the results from the biopsy of the mass in my right breast. Now I officially have breast cancer. Not that there was much doubt after the biopsy of the lymph nodes in November, but, as one doctor said, “It’s always a little disappointing when it comes true.” I’ve chosen a surgeon in Denver and an oncologist in Boulder, from different groups. I sometimes ask myself, “Beth, why can’t you do things the easy way? Pick one group or another?” But I didn’t. I picked the doctors who talked to me in a way I could understand. And I picked the surgeon, especially, because she was the only one of three who mentioned that she tries to minimize the trauma under the arm, where the lymph nodes are removed.

But now the holidays have come down like a pack of Dementors, and it’s cold and everyone is trying to get away. (Can you tell I’ve been watching Harry Potter movies?)

I knew I should have taken that 700-page editing job! Then I would have something to keep me busy, something other than looking for a place to live, editing the thousands of photos I took in the last 6 months during 12 Cities, 1 Year, or starting a photography business.

The truth is, the only thing I want to be busy at right now is treatment. But it’s not happening yet.

Cancer has made me into a patient, but it will never make me patient.

Sentences like that one make people hate to learn English.