Tuesday, October 07, 2008


There really isn't a good way to bring up this topic.

For example, I feel that my colleagues at Starbucks should probably know why my schedule is going to be even more erratic than normal and why I might be calling on them more often to cover shifts for me. But it's a little weird to just, out of the blue, say, "Hey--I can't work my shift tomorrow because I have a doctor's appointment--'cause I have cancer. Did I tell you I have cancer?"

Also, when customers come and order their drink and ask how I'm doing, sometimes I want to say, "Well, you know. I'm okay. I just found out I have cancer, but other than that I'm fine." Mostly that's just inappropriate. But there are some customers with whom I feel I have a long-standing enough relationship (even if I never see them on the other side of the counter), that I might want them to know. There just isn't a good way to introduce it.

I discovered this yesterday when Americano-Jimmy came and said, "So Jenn, how are you? What's new?"

Um . . .

The thing about Americano-Jimmy is that he is kind of a hypochondriac (worse than I am) and kind of a germophobe, and he has this long-standing semi-joke with a few of us: if he feels that there's any danger of our accidentally putting his hot espresso shots in the plastic iced cup before we put the ice in, he cries, "Wait! Put the ice in first! You're going to give me cancer!"

For some reason I hadn't fully thought through the fact that if I brought this up as a lead-in to telling him about my own condition, he'd feel bad instead of thinking it was funny.

Oops. Poor guy.

Manager-Hillarie says this is very literal and George Carlin of me. She also said it would be funny if we became known as the Too-Much-Information store and always just answered the "How are you?" question completely honestly. She and I probably spent at least 45 minutes last night coming up with various inappropriate answers to that question. We were very tired, so this wasn't too hard, and it also made us laugh until we were rolling on the floor and our smiles practically split our heads in half.

They say laughing is supposed to help . . .


David said...

My prayers are with you kid. You'll pull through.

The Cubicle Reverend said...

Sorry, helps if i use my real account. I will be praying for you, you'll pull through.

Amy Howard (formerly Campbell) said...

Yikes! I'll keep you in my prayers. This is something a lot of people fight well, but what a shock to find yourself being the one doing the fighting. I'll pray about the logistics you're concerned about. Extra worry won't do you any good. I'm glad you are feeling peace right now.

Kristin said...

I wish I could have been there to contribute to the TMI fest--I pretty much feel that inner-war everytime someone asks me how I'm doing. While your current situation is not amusing in itself, you do have an advantage in amusing yourself through it by being blunt and watching the discomfort it can create. Just warn me when you're going to do it so I can come watch.

Barry Pike said...

Add me to the list of people praying for you, Jenn.

Jenn said...

Thanks (both times) Cube Rev.

Amy--thanks for stopping by, and particularly for praying. You're right--it's one thing to acknowledge that "so many people get this disease" and something else entirely to be one of the "so many."

Kristin--That would have been great. We can do that over dinner sometime anyway, just for the heck of it.

Barry--thanks, too.

Anonymous said...

Aw, you didn't invite us to all post good ways to honestly answer the "How are you" kinds of questions life sends our way. Well, I'll start anyway.

Q. How are you?

A. Grossed out by your piercings.

A. A little embarrassed by my BO, and hoping no one else notices.

A. Slightly amused by the the way you wear your jacket, as if you were in the 80s instead of born in the 80s.

A. Sexually aroused.

A. Well, right now I'm PISSED because of all the (right/left) wingers out there and all their LIES!

Q. What's up?

A. I just farted.

A. Well, right now I was wondering if the guy you're with is always so pathetically insecure-acting around you as he seems to be today.

A. Haha, well just now I was imagining what your room is like, and I was picturing Jonas Brothers posters on the walls and Barbie dolls stashed away in your closet, and lots of clothes on the floor.

A. My period.

A. I'm being foreclosed. Can I stay at your place, while I get things settled with my loan officer?

Jenn said...

Anonymous! You're so funny! That's partly why I was laughing as well as crying hysterically tonight--otherwise it might just have been crying . . .