A young black woman and her mother are walking around a primarily white suburban mall. They haven’t seen each other very often since the mother moved to this new city a year ago, so they are completely wrapped up in each other.
As they head to a favorite clothing store, a large group of white teenage boys are walking towards them. As they pass, the boy in front lunges aggressively at the young woman. She jumps. The boys walk away, laughing hysterically at their friend’s antics. The girl is almost in tears, because she doesn’t understand what she did to provoke that kind of behavior.
Are you outraged for that woman? Did those boys do it because she was in “their” mall? Was it due to white male privilege?
Now what if I told you that it was me? I was 18, and had never been in a large city. The group of boys were all black. So, now it’s funny, right? “Make the white girl scared of us urban youths”. I try not to perpetuate stereotypes. I’m the product of a Mexican father and a white mother. I have never “belonged” in either family. Not quite white enough; not quite brown enough. It’s painful. It’s harmful.
It’s been almost 20 years since that experience. You would think I could have gotten over it. I haven’t. I’m angry to this day. The purpose of that boy’s actions was to instill fear and dominance.
I still ask why.
A funny thing happened on my way to the beach….
Written June 27, 2011 8:35am
About 2 months ago, I noticed something very disturbing. I will not go into detail(for all of my squeamish, male friends on here), suffice it to say, Shanna knew something was wrong. I went to the doctor, and after several tests, and many weeks of knowing nothing, my doctor(who has excellent timing, btw), called me last Tuesday while I was on my way to the beach. Now, don’t get indignant on my behalf. He knew I was on vacation, but I had asked(begged) him to call me with any results. After a short warming up, he told me “Shanna, I am sorry. The pathologist found small cell cancer cells.” After getting out of the wind tunnel that my mind had become, I asked him what this meant. Apparently(and according to my best girlfriend), I can’t even get illnesses that anyone else has. I have to be unique, and not follow the trends. You see, it is very rare for small cell cancer to develop on one’s “lady parts”, it is usually reserved for lungs. My doctor had not heard of it, and I believe I heard him say(over the screaming in my head) the pathologist had never seen anything like it.
A little background, to let you know what I meant earlier about learning from my mistakes. I don’t know how long this has been developing. I haven’t had health insurance for 3 years, and since I passed my last exam, I thought everything was o.k. Am I scared? Hell yes! Will I get through this? As best as I can. Have I learned something? You bet. Things aren’t always what they seem. Ladies and gentlemen(yes, you too) please go to your regular doctor’s visits. You never know what is lurking about.
The information part of the first paragraph?? Believe me, as soon as I get information, I will be getting it out there. It is very difficult to find something about this particular type of cancer because it is so uncommon. I hope that while I am going through this, I will be able to impart some knowledge, so anyone else who gets this prognosis won’t be as in the dark as I am right now.
For any of you who don’t know me well, I have a very dark sense of humor. If at any time, I make a joke about this that offends you, delete me(because believe me, if you offend me, you will be deleted). I am not making fun of my disease, I am trying to cope the best way I know how. I am not asking for any of you to pray that I get well, or even that I beat this. What I would like for you to pray for(to whatever God you worship), is that I have the strength to get through everything that will be coming my way. I am a fighter, and I am tough, I just need to be reminded every now and then. Pray for my children, who are 7 and 4. They will have a hard time trying to figure out what is happening to mommy. Pray for my husband, who holds his feelings inside, so you never know if he is o.k. or not. Pray for my mom, who is the strongest woman I know, but I am her only child, so this really tests that strength. Also, pray for the friends that are closest to me, who make up my solid support base: *edit: names removed for privacy*. They have promised to go through this Hell with me, and they will need the strength to deal with my whiny butt.
I have my first consultation with an oncologist this Friday, and as soon as I get an update, I will update you all. Take care of yourselves, and remember, if you think something is wrong…it probably is.