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One Thing About Cancer

Shortly after my "appendicitis" turned out to be ovarian cancer, requiring immediate surgery, a (former) friend said in belligerent tones, "Well, didn't you keep up with your Pap tests?" Not only is this full of blame-the-victim hostility, it's also ridiculous-Pap tests are for cervical cancer, not ovarian. There is no screening test for ovarian cancer, which is why it is so frequently only caught in the late stages. And even if there WERE a test-why would you want to make a cancer patient feel guilty, on top of being scared and ill, by saying something like that? One thing about cancer-you find out who your friends are in a big hurry.

- Sarah S.


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