Short Skirts And Pom Poms: A Letter To My Husband's Doctor

A pair of pom-pons.

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Dear Dr. Waffle Cone,

While it may have seemed like a stellar idea to you to kick off today’s appointment with a doom and gloom tone while telling us that in my husband’s very grave situation the only real options are “palliative care” (which you proceeded to discuss for so long we were beginning to believe you were going to tell us the transplant option was off the table even though Bob’s due to be admitted to the hospital Wednesday morning!!!) or the very, very, very, very (could you have said that word one more time) risky (another word you wore the knees out of today) allogeneic stem cell transplant.

Now, I understand it’s mingling with the mortals. I have to do it myself. So, when I ask you well-thought-out questions about my husband’s diagnosis, treatment and future prognosis, answers that equate to “meh” and “he’s S.O.L. if the transplant doesn’t work” aren’t acceptable to me. Why? One, because I know better. Two, because you know better. Three, because we deserve better.

Now, back to your bedside manner. Here’s the deal. Our oncologist at Kaiser, Dr. W, he’s an awesome dude. He’s delivered more bad news to us than he’d probably care to remember, but guess what. He’s done it with a no-bullshit approach we love (you claim to like to be direct—we dig that,too), but he always manages to maintain a sense of humor. How can you not? You picked a field of study and practice where people are going to die, paint a fucking smile on your face, wear a mask if you have to, bring a fart machine. I don’t care what it takes. Lighten the gotdayum mood, dude.

We know this is serious shit. We’re the ones facing his mortality. We’re the ones explaining it to our children. We’re the ones checking our wills. Our life insurance policies. Filing for disability. Looking for housing and childcare for the next four months. Maybe you’re not working on a study about the effects of the patient’s psychological outlook on prognosis, but somebody is and has, and I’m telling you, your sourpuss ain’t helping shit.

Next time I see your ass, you better have on a cheerleading skirt and some mother fucking pom poms. I want to see some high kicks and a big “Go! Bob! Fuck That Cancer!” Or, so help me, God, I will knee you in the nutsack.

Carry on.

We'll see you at the transplant. With our pom poms, cuz that's how we mother fuckin' roll.