Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Used the Cancer Card and Feel Ashamed

But first, here are some pics of our recent Cedar Point trip. This is how we usually start the day on the Power Towers. Really gets me ready for the coasters.

Kevin in line with me. The lines were not that bad when we were there. Weather was perfect too.
This is my friend, Todd, going on the Top Thrill Dragster. A little nervous. Stranger next to him.
If I hadn't alreay went on it, this would have been on the Bucket List. It gos from 0 to 120mph in 4 seconds while your head is plastered to the seat back. It goes 420 feet hign and drops you at a 90 degree angle to the ground. Top Thrill Dragster is awesome.
Now, let me tell you about my most recent cancer card swipe.

I feel ashamed because I used the cancer card to get out of a ticket. If you don’t know what I mean by the cancer card, let me quickly explain. Once you have cancer, you get preferential treatment from everyone. It soon can become an excuse for everything. Why didn’t you get your work done? Because I have cancer. Why were you so mean to me? I’m dealing with having cancer leave me alone? Why didn’t you get anything done today? Cancer. Why didn’t you email me back? Cancer. It can be an excuse out of everything. Why shouldn’t I impound your car and give you multiple tickets?…….well, I have cancer and have enough to deal with. The sympathy can even pour out of the angriest of officers

Last night as I was driving home from my Young Adults cancer support group meeting, I made a right turn from Rochester to Auburn on a yellow (turning red) light where there is a no turn on red sign. And there he was. Waiting for me. He pulled out and I knew I was in for it. He asked for my insurance which I knew was in my other purse and not in my car yet. Doh! Then, I knew I was in big trouble because I am still sporting the Texas plates (expired) and the Texas registration (expired as well) Then he asked me was where I was going. “Home”. “From where?”

Now I have to say I AM NOT A FAN of using the cancer card. Actually I will tip toe around the subject as much as I can so I can be treated like everyone else. I know I have this whole proud survivor identity, but I don’t like to be completely defined by it and I DON’T like being treated different. Anyway, I didn’t know what else to say. If I just said a support group he might think I was an alcoholic or drug abuser or something. So, I said a cancer support group. He said “you have cancer” and I said yep. Then he asked me if I had anything to drink. I thought this was weird because I just told him I have cancer. Then again there are many people who drink even though they have cancer. But of course I continue to use cancer to get me out of this potential disastrous situation and I say, “The tumors are on my liver. I haven’t had a drop of alcohol in years.” I don’t even know why I said that. Probably because I thought it was a stupid question. (Because we’re not pounding beer at this cancer support group)

This guy was very upset at me for driving with expired plates and registration (can you blame him?). I did in fact try to get this taken care of, but went to Secretary of State on one of the last voter registration days which was a huge mistake and I left wih 40 some people still to be called ahead of me. I explained this to him and I think it got him more upset at me because that was over a week ago. He was talking about impounding my car. (Honestly: wrong plates, expired registration and no insurance card with me not to mention the light. I could have been in trouble.) I THEN told him that I have been flying back and forth to Houston for treatment and testing and my life has been crazy lately (Oh my god Shannon stop with the cancer excuses!!!) I think by now I had spiraled out of control. If he wouldn’t have gone back to his car he would have gotten my life story. But, the cancer card worked. He said he will let me go if I promise the next place I drive is to Secretary of State to get this taken care of. He said he patrols these streets and he will be looking for me.

I don’t like using the cancer card. I feel yucky after I do it, like I did something really wrong. I came home and told Kevin about getting pulled over and I didn’t even tell him I uttered the word cancer because I was so ashamed. I don’t know why it makes me feel so bad. Its one bit of leverage a cancer survivor gets for having to deal with this disease. Why should I feel bad? Anyway, I feel a little bit better like I went to confession except it is me confessing to all of you (and Kevin once he reads this). Maybe that is the only reason why I wrote this?? I honestly don’t know, but I feel better.

Thanks for listening and feel free to chime in If you think it is or isn’t okay to use the cancer card

Thanks for listening and I am off to the Secretary of State


  1. My 81 year old mother plays the little old lady card all the time. Don't use it indiscriminately, but hey, you've got it, so when push comes to shove, it's available!

  2. ditto on Sally's comment... and i LOVE the new background ;)


darker pink dots