Cancer Always Calls Collect - Part 1

by Linda Seccaspina

One day last summer I looked at him and he said the word cancer. Immediately calling his bluff; I told him he was nuts and probably just had ulcers. I could never imagine a man of his strength being caught by vicious cancer cells, or could they penetrate the strong too?

This was impossible I thought, this was my family disease, and he was not related to me by blood. Three weeks later I called and he was upset I had left knowing he was in a bad way. Over the phone wires traveling thousands of miles, he told me what I had heard so many times in my life.

"It's cancer he said, and it's not looking good".

I hung up the phone and cried because I knew there was nothing I could do to help. Or was there? Was I strong enough to deal with someone that was part of my life once again? He had to be bluffing- he just had to be. As I sat inside the plane, I knew that I would be able to tell just by looking at him once I saw him. Through the years I knew that look and what would happen 6 months later down the road. I had lived it so many times I had become a professional cancer detector.

For the first time in months we were face to face and I could smell what was in the air. He handed me a credit card like it was a worthless piece of paper. I watched him sit inside the car with the the engine running saying he just wanted to think while I went for groceries. Again, that was not the man I once knew. If they were taking Las Vegas odds; I should be the one dealing with this first.

Why was it him and not me?


I looked at the family dog and told him not to leave me as if there ever was a time I needed his comfort it was now.