...It’s me, Margaret…Ha! just kidding. It’s not even Judy Blume. It’s Joanne again.
This morning, when I was on my way to school, ON TIME, and bitter, because unlike surrounding towns my district didn’t have a delay, and I really could have used a little extra time this morning with some cold compresses on my eyes, I thought God must be a teenager. I figured you weren’t trying very hard—happy with the bare minimum effort like so many of my students—to give me that well-timed snow storm for a well-deserved snow day. A snow squall here, overnight flurries there, but no Nor'easter. No snow day. Or maybe you weren’t really paying attention when I was talking, which could likely mean you’re a man. A male teenager. What a kicker!
But I got to school, and saw my eyeliner was doing the trick, and I got busy doing what I do, and I got over the hissy fit. And then during lunch, when Fran and Tim and I were planning labs and activities in our next unit on Mitosis and Meiosis—(much less boring than photosynthesis and respiration), during which we teach about cancer and show a Nova video Cancer Warrior to our students about the groundbreaking research of Dr. Judah Folkman, who unlike the rest of his colleagues did not focus on genes in his cancer research but on angiogenesis, and who didn’t live to see his life’s work take a giant step last year when it was found that people with Down Syndrome are less likely to get cancer perhaps not because they don’t live as long (as had long been held to be true), but because they have three copies of an angiogenesis inhibitor on their chromosome 21—I broke down. As soon as my mental video review got to the part about the man in “clinical trials,” that was it. I lost my sh*t.
And now I’m home. I’ve texted and talked and watched Oprah and I can’t get out of my own way. I don’t feel like writing or posting the picture I took of the gyoza soup I made last night, because everything just seems insipid and insignificant and oh-so-inane right now. I don’t even want a snow day anymore.
What I want is this, dear God. For Donna, for everyone who loves her including me, and for everyone else who has a Donna in his or her life, please let there be a cure for cancer, that stupid bully who doesn’t know when to quit. And if you’re still operating in teenager mode, dear Lord, then please find a clinical trial for Donna. It wasn’t supposed to spread again. Keep whispering in her ear to fight the good fight. Remind her that she is strong and tell her it’s okay, while she fights, to demand a cocktail.
This time, I promise I will give up any and all requests for a snow day AND for new members at the gym to fall off the fitness wagon and for vodka in a pill form. I will live with the dimples on my thighs and don’t care if I never make a million dollars. Really.
Make. Donna. Better.