“Life is hard, honey. Everyone finds a way.”
Carla in “Everything, Everything” by Nicole Yoon
Doctor: Hey. How’s the chemo treating you?
Me: I enjoy it a lot. I may continue it on a recreational basis after we’re done. Do you think it’s possible to buy Obinutuzumab on the street?
Doctor (looking at new doctor who’s shadowing him): In all my years, nobody has ever said that to me. Figures it’s him.
New doctor: Confused look.
Doctor: So how are you feeling? Are you running or is this sidelining you?
Me: Oh, shuffling along. Still slow, but I’m feeling better.
Doctor: What shoes are those?
Me: Altra Escalante.
Doctor: Do you like them?
Me: They’re OK. Mostly I like saying “Altra Escalante.”
Doctor: These are the old Brooks Cascadias. Beat to hell. Look at this hole!
Me: Just getting them broken in.
New doctor: Wondering what the hell.
Me: The new doctor is wearing Allbirds, world’s coolest shoes. Super light, environmentally friendly. I like her already.
Doctor to new doctor: Oh, god. Another minimalist. Do you run?
New doctor (embarrassed): No, but I do other stuff.
Doctor: Makes mental note to flunk her.
Doctor to me: Well, it’s good you’re still running, even if you’re getting passed by little girls. And I’m not knocking little girls. In my one and only marathon, I got passed in the last quarter mile on the track we were finishing on by a girl. Went out at 6-minute pace, backed off, picked it up again at 18, and then died at the end. And there she was.
Me: Yeah, when I asked my roommate what his goal was in his first 8k back in 1980 ,he said he had no particular time in mind; only that there was no way any girls would beat him. He never said that again.
New doctor: Ponders career change.
Doctor: Well, your numbers look good. Let’s keep doing what we’re doing. See you next month.
Me: Sounds good.
New doctor: Begins mentally writing resignation letter. Or planning marathon training.
I love my oncologist. Life is hard. But we’re finding a way.