You people suck. You fucking suck.
I'm not talking about the regular readers of this blog, or the folks who have sent me emails (that I haven't answered yet, thus proving that I, too, suck upon occasion) or sent me presents of sparkly nail polish or shine serum for my buzzcut.
I'm talking about the people out there who have adult kids with cancer or who have adult kids who are married to people with cancer, or who have adult kids who have kids with cancer, who don't make an effort to be involved in those people's survival.
Look, I know it's tough. You don't want to revisit that thing that killed your wife. You don't want to see your child, or your child's child, or your child's love, in pain. It freaks you out and makes you uncomfortable, and it might bring up all the shit that should've been said years ago that never got said.
But for once? This is not about you. This is about somebody that you love, that you nurtured and raised and loved, who is going through motherfucking undiluted hell.
When I got my diagnosis, the first thing that happened was that my sister, who was driving at the time, was calm and cool-headed and sensible. The second thing that happened was that my parents were the same way. The third thing that happened--and here is a lesson for you fuckers--was that every. Single. Person I worked with at Sunnydale? Chipped in to send me a bag of goodies. A couple of 'em drove way out of their way to make sure I got that bag of goodies, at the same time that Abilene Rob was visiting in the middle of the third week of school to make sure I ate and was otherwise nourished.
These are people I work with. They are not related to me in any way. And yet they went out of their collective ways to tell me that they were thinking about me, and show me that they loved me. And you can't do that for your own child? What kind of monster are you?
My family is weird; I'll grant you that without argument. My dad, who is very, very bad indeed when it comes to dealing with the sick and injured, did not come down to Texas for my surgery. Instead, he sent silly emails and small presents he knew would annoy me (that's how we show we love each other in my family; with itch powder) and clippings from various newspapers that he thought I might like. He wasn't physically there, but he was there.
My sister and mother came down, along with Sainted Friend Penny, and all three of them combined to take care of each other and me. They fielded phone calls and drove me to and from appointments (as did Nurse Ames, to whom I owe an unpayable debt), and made me ramen when I didn't feel good, and bought bottles of wine and watched unwatchable movies.
And you fuckers can't do that?
What is with you, anyhow? I mean, yeah, your kid's a grown-up now. But if my coworkers and friends are willing to drop everything, for however long, to either drive me to PET scans or listen to my fears or simply put a hand on my shoulder when I'm terrified of MRI results, why can't you? Where the hell are you people? These are children that are of your fucking flesh. Why are you so selfish?
I am pissed on behalf of my friends, who are losing body parts and lives and time to an awful disease that takes as many forms as there are people on the planet. I'm pissed because I got the good, clean, long end of the stick in terms of my friends and relations, but there are people who are way, way nicer than I am who are getting screwed.
It makes me sad. It makes me angry. It makes me want to get on a plane with this enormous pot of buffalo chili and a huge batch of biriyani and home-made flatbread and make somebody's day.
Why are people so mean? Worse, why are they so neglectful?
Nurse Ames, when I told her I have a re-PET in April, said, "I'm going to take you to that, of course. You're fun when you're on Valium, and we have a date! Every year, fucked-up Jo and Mexican food."
It is not that hard. Ball up, be a man or a woman, get your ovaries or testicles in order, and pull up those sparkly disco pants. Just this once, be a decent fucking human being like the people around me have been. Make your kids grateful in their parents, as I have been grateful for mine.
Or else I am stealing your credit card number so I can put an airline ticket on it and go visit the kid you apparently don't have time for.