A Childhood Cancer Survivor Blogging about the World of Childhood Cancer

Posts tagged ‘Humor’

Grace – Cough Medicine Excerpt

I wish that my mind could be permanently wiped clean of the memories of my cough medicine. I want so much to be able to see that little, evil, orange bottle in the cabinet and not involuntarily shiver and cringe. Imagine the most rancid, disgusting substance on planet earth and multiply it by 1,000. Wah-lah! My cough medicine. I can recall myself scrunched up in rollie-pollie position while I desperately downed Hall’s and warm tea…nothing worked.

copyright by Melinda Marchiano, author of Grace

Grace – Hair Excerpt

     Shortly after I arrived home, I received a visit from my Gramma, Grandpa, Great-Aunt Ruth, and Great-Uncle Wen. I could see a strange look on their faces as they rounded the sharp corner into the room. I almost felt embarrassed for being in the state that I was and thought that a “You Get What You See” sign would be appropriate. Watching them come closer, I pictured one of those cheesy soap operas. You know, one where the sick person lies in the bed, practically dead, while people come to see them one last time. It all seemed like a soap opera, depressing, and way too dramatic for my comedic flair. I was afraid that I would not be treated like “Melinda” anymore, that things would be different between myself and those who I knew. But I realized quickly that it was the same people I love dearly, and that they had come to share their love with me.

     My Great-Uncle Wen and I have an ongoing joke where I tell him, “I like your hair!” I gently pat him on the head, while a deep, low chuckle emerges from his smiling lips.

     He then turns to me, repeats the same hair-frizzing motion, and says, “I like your hair!”  We end up laughing together, each rubbing each other’s heads.

      So this time, when he announced the famous line, I joked, “Enjoy it while you can!”  

     Laughs erupted from everyone in the room. It made me happy.

copyright by Melinda Marchiano, author of Grace


Grace – First Biopsy Excerpt

     The time had come. I heard the squeaky wheels even before I saw a man with a stretcher pull up to my door. I was relieved and ready, but jittery and procrastinating. I went to the bathroom one more time, funny how we overlook the simple things like going to the restroom before surgery. Realizing how weird the patient ID tag around my wrist looked, I gave in and crawled under the starchy, white sheets on the stretcher. I had made a big step toward grasping the tough reality. Mom and Dad walked along side as I was wheeled up, down, here, there, and everywhere by Joe, a great guy who became my personal driver, if you will. I cracked a smile… it was kind of fun. But my self-pity got in the way. I felt so screwed up. Probably one of the weirdest things is having people stare at you as you roll by. They hesitantly peek, as though they’re expecting a mangled, undistinguishable thing to glide past. They sure did get a surprise when I went by, smiling and waving at them. Yeah, I milked that stretcher ride like Miss Pepperoni in the Parade of Pizza. We pulled up to a humongous door, it splitting as Joe pushed a Paul Bunyan size button mounted on the nearby wall. Once again, a whole new world was revealed. The planet OR. It must have dropped about 15 or 20 degrees when we entered the pre-op area, and I snuggled in deeper under my blankets, trying to shake off the uncomfortable chill. Lying down, I was unable to see the schedule board, but my mom later told me what it read. In big letters, I was written on it like the Catch of the Day, battered, fried, with a side of slaw and unlimited soda refills. Nah, just kidding.

     It said, “Melinda Marchiano– Anterior Mediastinal Mass.”

copyright by Melinda Marchiano, author of Grace

Grace – Oral Contrast Excerpt

     With already one down, I chugged another nauseating bottle of oral contrast. For those of you who are not familiar with this delightful substance, I shall explain it to you. It comes in a clear, glass bottle, one that makes you believe that the milkman just pulled up in his horse and buggy with fresh, ice-cold milk. It reads, “Barium Sulfate,” a.k.a oral contrast. When you glance at the back, as if to read the “nutrition facts,” you are informed that it can interestingly be taken orally, intravenously, or rectally. That made me appreciate the fact that I was drinking it. But, ah, the taste. At first whiff, it emits a vanilla scent, and you are momentarily tricked into thinking it is a sweet, smooth milkshake from your favorite fast food place. But as soon as the foul liquid slides to the back of your mouth, the chalky, bitter taste creeps up and hits you like tax day. Your mouth becomes pasty and dry, along with the glamorous bloating, stomach upset, nausea, dizziness, and loss of appetite. To add a cherry on top of the sundae from hell, you must fast before your scan. I pictured my belly, it screaming for food, but only full of the sloshing, nightmare milkshake. So I had my moments of weakness and crabbiness, and I also directed several hateful comments toward the innocent glass bottle. But I eventually got it down without any choking, gagging, etc.

copyright by Melinda Marchiano, author of Grace

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