#FlashFiction / 100 Words or Less

One, two, three punch.  Life happened to childhood friends.  This meant that time was coming for her cohort.

Jay’s dad has kidney cancer in his lungs.  Did you know it is still called kidney cancer even after it spreads?  Well now we all do.

Diane travelling with her brother on a whirlwind bucket list vacation to Chi town.  She takes a “tumble”.  Vacation done! Ending in a severe injury requiring surgery to her left arm.

Missy has one year left.  Lung cancer is now brain mets.  Similar to Jay’s dad in that the cancer has spread.  Praying for miracles.

 

 

7 thoughts on “#FlashFiction / 100 Words or Less

  1. Pathologists (and presumably oncologists) can tell that cancerous growths are metastases as opposed to the original tumors. When Mom died, they knew they were looking at cancer from someplace other than where the growths were. Problem was, they couldn’t find the origin until after she died. Her doctor showed up at her wake to tell us that. He earned the nickname “Doctor Timing” after that…

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    1. They know many things but they’re only human. I want them to be perfect dammit. Save your mom and mine too.

      My mom was misdiagnosed with lupus and a few other things. By the time they realized it was cancer … a reoccurrence… the cancer had spread everywhere. She didn’t stand a chance. I don’t think they even tried to pinpoint the origin. I’d have to check her death certificate.

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      1. The reason we age as we do is because each cell only has a limited number of times it can reproduce. Every time a cell divides, the telomere of the product is shorter. When it hits zero, no more division for you. The cells die the next time they tries to divide.

        Cancer is just uncontrolled cell growth. A cell mutates for a reason and just starts splitting like crazy. Cancer pops up all the time in our body but as it’s descendant cells hit their limit, they die. Many times (but not always) our own disease defenses stop it because it is a mutation and shows different proteins on the cell membrane than normal.

        Some cancer cells have learned how to metastasize. Those cancers are called malignant. By chance, they also don’t display a protein our body identifies as “strange”. That means they just let go of their connection to the cells around them and float around in the bloodstream until they lodge somewhere. They keep on dividing until they’ve destroyed whatever organ they are in. Eventually, enough damage is done that you die.

        If cancer originated in a kidney cell, it would retain many of its kidney cell traits. So we call it kidney cancer no matter where it goes. Some cancers are self-limiting, some move very slowly and some very quickly and a lot of it depends on the traits of the organ they originated in. Sometimes cells of different origins can be treated differently.

        There are types of skin cancer that move very slowly and some that move very quickly. Same thing for prostate cancer. Depends on the specific mutation Most prostate cancers can be ignored for years but some are immediately life-threatening. Most skin cancers grow very slowly and are simple to fix yet some grow like wildfire.

        My adoptive mother died from bladder cancer after it had spread to every part of her body. The fact she smoked like a chimney and drank huge amounts of saccharine in her coffee may have had something to do with it. Or not.

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      2. You know that’s the interesting part … how each of us are different. My adoptive mother smoked like a chimney too. She had breast cancer twice. I was 7 the first time and 9 the 2nd time. She survived that and later succumbed to cancer of unknown origin when I was 33. Her older sister also smoked like a chimney. Never had cancer. Lived into her 80s.

        I give up. Life’s a crap shoot. All I know is I never want to die. Scares the crap out of me. But guess I won’t know the difference… I’ll be dead.

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