March 20, 2013 Photo by Jonathan deHaan

March 20, 2013
Photo by Jonathan deHaan

I got up this morning, curled my hair all pretty for once, and applied my makeup carefully; I did not want to look like a frump for my presentation at the Pierce County Cancer Survivorship Conference.
I pulled into the parking lot. There was not one space left. I was forced to park down the road, which was quite unfortunate, considering it was raining cats and dogs outside. I was completely drenched by the time I found the building I was supposed to be in. My hair was plastered to my head and the mascara on my left eyelashes began to melt down my face.
I was not set to speak until 1:45. After fixing my makeup in the bathroom, I began to tour the conference. Was that beautiful harp music I heard floating through the air toward me? Sure enough, there was a woman in the corner of the music room strumming away. Next, my eyes honed in on the free massages being given next to the grand piano.
“So, do you have time to fit me in?” I asked the massage therapist.
“Sure. My name is Maureen. Have a seat.”

After my massage, I came upon a booth where a woman stood smiling; she was surrounded by apples, bananas, oranges, and nutrition pamphlets. “We teach cooking classes,” she started in right away.
“What kind of cooking classes are they?” I asked her.
“We teach people how to work with vegetable-based diets.”
“So, no meat or dairy, I suppose?” I asked her.
“Oh, no. They have found that dairy is one of the most carcinogenic foods on the planet,” she continued.
I guess right then was not the time to bring up the fact that I’m addicted to Haagen-Dazs Rocky Road ice cream.
I don’t know if eating dairy or meat all these years contributed to my cancer or not—how do you explain all the thousands of people who eat such foods and don’t end up with cancer?—but one thing was sure; I don’t think she’d want me in her class: “Tofu? Blech. Where’s all the cheese? I hope we learn how to make pudding from scratch….”