How I am like Harry Potter - The Funny Thing About Cancer
Yes.  You read that right.  I am like Harry Potter.

Bear with me, it's gonna take a little time for me to get to my point, but I personally think it's worth it :)

So this past week, I've been opening up to people in my office and in my life about the fact that I have cancer.  Due to holidays and doctor appointments, I've been in the office for 3 days this week.  I've spent at least 2 of those days having "the conversation". 

I've gotten many reactions from "I'm sorry to hear that, how often are you going to be out of the office?" (which is actually the easiest converation I had) to lots of tears and even one person who questioned me for about a half an hour on every single detail of everything.

It's been emotionally draining and exhausting.  I think I should've been allowed a nap after every single conversation.

But back to the point, there is ONE main thing that I've noticed in all of these converations.  People hate to say the word cancer.

It's almost like they feel that if they say it, it makes it worse.

Like maybe the cancer (cue scary music) will find them and kill them and their entire family.

Kind of like Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter series :)  Yes, I'm a Harry Potter geek and I'm OK with that.  In the books, almost everyone refers to Voldemort as "He-who-must-not-be-named".

I kinda feel like people treat the word cancer the same way. 

I've had it referred to as my "illness" and my "situation" and loads of other euphemisms that all refer to cancer without actually naming it.

I am Harry Potter.  I am unafraid to name my foe.  I will refer to it as cancer and not be scared of it!

But there are days when I feel like maybe I should name it something for those that are uncomfortable with the word.  Maybe it'll make them feel better? 

Would it be odd if I named my cancer?  Like maybe Fred.  Or Bobo.  Or shall we simply call it "the-illness-that-must-not-be-named"?

I personally still intend to call it cancer.  But if it makes you feel better, you can call it something else.  Just clue me in to the name so I know you're talking about cancer and not some long lost classmate or family member. 

Or just submit suggestions in the comments and I'll choose my favorite!

Let the naming of my little disease begin!
1/10/2011 01:34:30 pm

Hi Cynthia,

My name is Shayne, I'm a friend of Julie's and found my way here through her blog.

Good for you for starting to write about your journey with cancer. I like your allusion to Harry Potter. You're absolutely right that naming something takes some of the fear away.

Thinking of you, praying for you and your family.

jill carbajal
1/10/2011 06:08:34 pm

Hello Cynthia

I just finished reading your blog from the family website ~ your sense of humor is amazing! Please know that tons of thoughts and prayers are being sent your way daily from eastern montana! Hugs to you, Chris, and Caleb!


1/10/2011 06:50:45 pm


Happened upon you from Julie's delightful blog!

Despite your horrible luck and the heaviness of cancer... you are hilarious indeed. Keep writing, its therapy girl!

I will certainly pray for you on this journey to move past cancer, deliver an incredible baby, and finally get to find comfort in your hubby's arms!

1/10/2011 07:40:17 pm

I'm voting for the-illness-that-will-not-be-named, although it is a bit difficult for me to make my fingers hit all the hyphens so perhaps in typing it could be titwinoben or perhaps that will be it's name Tit (appropriate) Winoben (pernounced wInO ben such as you are no longer allowed to be a wino). OK, well maybe my attempt at humor is poor, but I am trying. And back to the topic of this blog, remember when we drove down to Miami after work that one weekend and you kept me awake by reading Harry Potter out loud? What were we thinking?! Love you!!! And your boobies are in my prayers more times a day than I can count.

Melany Barber
1/10/2011 11:02:25 pm

I wandered on over here from Julie's post. Wow. I had read your family blog on Caleb, but I was blown away. I will be keeping you and your family in my prayers. Keep up the blog, I'm sure it's therapeutic and a good thing to give everyone the same information at once. I'm glad to see you haven't lost your sense of humor.

Beth Yoerger
1/13/2011 06:03:10 pm

Dear Cynthia,
Just wanted to say I think of you daily and pray for you daily. Grandma Ericson says she wakes up thinking about you guys and goes to bed the last thing she does is think about you ... we love u all and will continue to pray!!!
love you


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