The Cancer Card: Membership has its perks!

We leave the hospital with a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis and our cancer card in hand along with an advance directive like a diploma. Here’s several ways in which you might carefully use yours to benefit from having a death sentence.

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I’m a cancer card carrying member of Club Cancer (pronounce it as the French would- con-sai-grrrgrgggch) Carry it whenever you leave the house and even while you’re at home. Flash it or repeat the infuriatingly confusing information on front of the card in blurry type, on the phone. Learn to use your card immediately upon diagnosis. At first you’ll try to use it everywhere they’re taken.

Or more likely, not taken. As time goes on and if you have a “good kind” of cancer or a non-stage four metastatic lifetime membership, you’ll find it’s fairly useless. Meaning, the longer you have it and the more attempts you make to use it the less it’s really worth to you.

Cancer cards are pretty much taken everywhere if properly applied for things like discounts and upgrades. They’re excellent for eliciting unsolicited advice. Your mail carrier might even bring you some medical marijuana if you live in a state where it’s legal, sometimes even where it’s not!

Don’t leave your card anywhere. No one can borrow it, either. If someone asks to borrow it, even as a joke, you’re free to immediately club said person with a baseball bat across the area where your cancer originated. This feels especially painful if those friends happen ask someone with brain or testicular cancer. It’s also especially satisfying.

If someone must take the card briefly to verify your membership, make sure you get that card right back. It’s value exists in your cautious use. NEVER overextend your credit of goodwill.

Don’t exit the infusion center without gathering it along with your hat or cap, your jacket or coat in winter, anti nausea medication and something hydrating might be nice, too.

Although it’s easy to see who’s the one with “a cancer,” we appear almost translucent. Invisible… for all anyone knows you’re so transparent you might not exist. Transparency is the secret of the cancer card, too. No one except those of us with cancer can see the card. Our names embellished with a machine that’s more like a tattoo gun, once you’ve gotten your card you can never give it back. Never cancel it. And it never expires until you expire. By expire, I mean die.*

*Caveat: If you’re not currently a member of club cancer your card can expire after 10 years. However, hold onto it because you’ve still got a roughly 40% chance you’ll need it again someday.

Your card comes equipped with your “bucket list” encoded into the chip on the front. As you tick off the fun and exciting adventures you consider must-do’s, the card deletes the information from the chip. No, these items come with a high cost. Of course nothing comes free, although you use the card while making a plane reservation for instance to get a free upgraded seat or for a better price for a direct flight. This assumes the person in customer care, erm…actually cares.

Sign your name in blood on the back of your cancer card otherwise it’s considered null and void. Remember without cancer or never having had cancer the card simply won’t exist. Remember it’s transparent as are you so no one will hear you or see you even if you’ve got any stage at any age. Chances are people won’t be,I’ve you have cancer because you just look so darned great!

Here’s a list of just a few things you can also try with your cancer card.

  • Advice on how to get rid of neuropathy
  • 1,001 uses for apple cider vinegar
  • 1,001 recipes with turmeric and cruciferous vegetables (notice crucifer rhymes with Lucifer?)
  • Book and then cancel all the vacations you ever wanted
  • Jump ahead in long queues
  • Immediate support group acceptance
  • Plush spaces in any physician’s waiting room
  • Nurses, nurses, nurses!
  • Free face masks and high alcohols hand sanitizer for life to protect you from Covid or other possible pandemic viral infections
  • Free fly fishing excursions
  • Shared rooms at reduced costs at cancer conferences
  • Free extra apple juice and graham crackers during IV chemotherapy infusions
  • Forced early retirement
  • Warmed blankets for those chilly scan rooms
  • Excused absences from large gatherings such as weddings and bar mitzvahs
  • A non-expiring excuse not to answer the phone
  • Asks for discounts on anything – without any degree of certainty you’ll receive a price reduction
  • Co-pay assistance from “charities” run by the very pharmaceutical companies that make the drugs only millionaires can afford (but even their money tree stops producing fruit after a while)
  • Grumpy days, sad days, angry days, sentimental days
  • Days talking out loud to your cat or dog
  • Days spent staring at the same content in your refrigerator wishing for everything to eat but not inside
  • That “look” from every receptionist with a heart
  • That other “look” from all the other receptionists on power trips

And last but not least you’re given a blank blog as a bonus. Of you missed it in the envelope with your first bill? Not to worry there’s plenty more where that came from.

I welcome your comments!

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