RACK CANCER: Sharing Hope

Front Cover
Xlibris Corporation, Aug 21, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 112 pages
Dedicated to every brave warrior who has ever fought cancer.
Th ose who survived, those who are still fighting,
and those who lost the battle.

There we sat at the poolside café in the gated community in Florida, where my parents have lived for the past twenty-some-odd years. I had received the heart-wrenching diagnosis less than a week earlier and had just recently broken the news to my two young children.

So there we sat, just the four of us, at a table, eating our lunch, just as we had done so many times before during our annual December holiday visit. I had ordered a salad; my twelve-year-old son, Nick, was munching on a hot dog; and my husband, Jim, was eating a cheeseburger. My petite nine-year-old daughter, Whitney, was chomping away on a rack of BBQ ribs. (Th is is the same child who decided on the codfi sh when we took her to the International House of Pancakes. Th e second time we took her there, she went with the pot roast.)

Nick had a million questions about the cancer. “How do they know it didn’t spread?” “How did you get it?” “Is it contagious?” and so on. Whitney just sat there, her big eyes welling up with tears from time to time, looking at me longingly, as if she wanted to jump in my pocket and stay in it forever. So we all sat there, trying to eat, Jim and I attempting to answer the questions as best we could to ease their worries.

During the course of the meal, Jim, who always gets such a charge out of Whitney’s dietary intake, made many references to the “rack” that she was consuming. “How’s the rack?” “Is the rack good?” “Th e rack looks delicious!” “Can I try some of the rack?” Finally, I could take it no longer. I turned to my saint of a husband and said, “Under the circumstances, sweetie, do you think you could STOP saying the word rack so much?” My husband, who is ALWAYS my best audience, started laughing. Nick, who is ALWAYS asking questions, wanted to know why that was funny. Jim went on to explain to him that the word rack is sometimes used as a slang term for a set of woman’s breasts. Whitney, with bone in hand and a face full of BBQ sauce, turned to us and said, “Oh, so Mommy has rack cancer?”

There you have it. From that day forward, in my little corner of the world, my medical condition became known as rack cancer. It was much less frightening that way.


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