Recently, one of my boyfriend’s favorite celebrities died from one of his least favorites diseases.
Dixie Carter passed away April 10, of complications from endometrial cancer.
Cancer has been an unwelcome houseguest in our lives for a while now. The boyfriend’s from the Lone Star State, where getting cancer seems to be as common as sequenced sweaters and tuxedos matched with leather boots. The stars at night are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas, but so it seems are a few malignancies.
No amount of my assurances will convince the boyfriend he won’t necessarily get cancer; it’s neither a birthright, nor a curse – but he’s already decided which hospital will treat him and where to find the best wig for the occasion. It’s the “wedding day” daydream equivalent for the hypochondria set.
My Grandma went to Carlsbad Caverns and all I got was this lousy CANCER.
With little provocation, the boyfriend will rattle off a list of people, both family and family friends, who’ve joined the Malignant Neoplasm Achievers Club as though it’s proof that “In the future, everyone will get cancer for 15 minutes.” I explain that I’m Swedish and we don’t need tumors to feel a sense of impending death – we can see it reflected in our morning cornflakes, a blue sky, or in the smiles of children.
My arguments to not fear cancer really took a hit when our dearest friend, Jenny, was diagnosed with breast cancer just before Christmas. (“Thanks, Santa!”) Watching her deal with treatment with the poise and defiance she’s displayed has been inspirational, even as it’s made our whole lives seem like a subplot on thirtysomething. While I love Jenny, I’m totally not into her cancer, and I wish she’d stop having it.
Anyway, I thought it might be both delightful and macabre (a charming combination, I think) to collect some movie clips and songs by various Homo sapiens who’ve had cancer.