Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

The Big News

windowsill flowers

There is no easy way to put this. With each person I have told, I have chosen to be straightforward, because attempting to soften the subject matter would only make the news hit harder. So, here it is.

I have been diagnosed with cervical cancer.

I found out yesterday afternoon, and that is the first time I have actually typed those words out and read them back to myself. Cervical cancer. What a strange thing to clack out on my keyboard: a sentence structured so that cancer is the object and I is the subject. I am the subject.

I want to have thoughts and feelings about it, but I don't yet. I sit here at the keyboard, listen to the white noise hum of the laptop, and stare into the nothing of a blank screen. I want to be eloquent; I want to sound somber while conferring a touch of levity to lighten the load of a subject that was only whispered about when I was a child in the seventies. I wonder Am I feeling anything? and check my mind as though going through pockets to look for loose change. Nope, nothing yet.

The truth is that I felt something was off with me back in the fall when I went for my initial physical exam. I did not say anything then, because my knowledge was based on things like a gut feeling, patterns in my dreams, a nagging thought that my brain chemicals weren't the only things that needed fixing around here. There was no pain or illness to substantiate what I knew, but I knew it all the same.

Each time I have told another friend or family member the news, I feel compelled to apologize. I'm sorry to have to say this to you, I'm sorry about this, I'm sorry to bring down your day this way. I know that it's ridiculous. I haven't done anything aside from exist in a body that behaves as a body will. There is no sense in apologizing for that. It would be like apologizing for my existence. And yet, I apologized to my mother and several friends yesterday. I'm sorry I have cancer, as though it's an act I've committed.

Right now, though, I am fine. Saviabella has penned an appointment into her calendar to call me in about two weeks when the shock wears off and I start freaking out about scary words like CANCER and SURGERY and HYSTERECTOMY. Until then, though, I have the respite offered by shock and disbelief. Ah, sweet denial.

Today, I am staying at home and eating every bad thing I can, coping through deep fried meat and french fries, so, if you will excuse me, I have some gorging to do, Oprah to watch, Oprah to bitch about, and then a grease-induced euphoria in which to bask.

Remember The Rooster

Spoken Word By Kendra Urdang