Clean Cancer Scans and Thrift Shopping

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After receiving clean cancer scans, I rewarded myself with a trip to the thrift shop.

cartoon drawing of blogger and cancer survivor, Laura Yeager

My mammogram showed no signs of cancer. I am now 12 years out from my first cancer and seven from my second!

Elated, I take myself thrift shopping. There’s a Humane Society Thrift Store in Akron called Happy Tails. There, I buy a ceramic sculpture of four ceramic bunnies swinging on a ceramic swing set, two pairs of earrings, some new dishcloths and a wooden sign that reads, “You can’t have too much happy.”

The sign says it all. I feel lucky to be alive, albeit beat up by life, but I reason, one can’t make it to 60 without being beaten up. Since I’m celebrating my survival, I make a small donation to the cats and dogs.

Next on my thrift shop list is The Discovery Shop, the American Cancer Society store in Akron where everything is half price! I’ve hit the jackpot. At this store, I find a three-piece pant suit for my 91-year-old mom. At their register, I make another small donation for cancer research. I feel that I’m giving back, making just the tiniest dent in an enormous enterprise.

Driving home, I call my friend and tell her my good news.

“My mammogram was normal,” I say.

“Thank God,” she says. “I don’t want to lose you.”

This is a woman who lost her mother and her beloved aunt to breast cancer. I feel loved and needed.

“I love you, too,” I say.

We are all waiting for the world to rebirth itself. —for the buds to burst and the green to appear; for flowers and grass to make their appearance; for Jesus to return, back from the dead.

I have come back from the near death, from green chemo skin and mouth sores, incapacitating fatigue, and suicidal ideation due to the wrong cancer med. (My oncologist put me on some cancer drug that made me want to check out permanently. I had to call her and report the side effect. She immediately took me off the medication and put me on tamoxifen, which was a saving grace. Ten years of that stuff. I would have to say tamoxifen is a good drug.)

Actually, here in Akron, we didn’t have much of a winter. We had one big storm at Christmas that shut all of us in. The other thing that caused us to stay in was COVID-19. The whole family came down with it. Thank God, the illness was mild. I about went bonkers. I’m a goer. I’m a thrift shopper. It’s a weekly habit.

So when I got word that my scan was clear, I hopped in the car and made my rounds. I’llget to the other store in town tomorrow. Thursday is the day that they change the color (when certain items go half off.)

Thrift shopping is a cheap thrill; it’s like getting something wonderful for nothing.

Like not deserving a clean scan but getting one anyway.

When you have cancer and live, you sometimes feel guilty for surviving. Because of this I hang the $3.00 sign thrift shop sign on my wall and read it daily. 

You can’t have too much happy.


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