The Cancer Community and the Princess of Wales


I couldn't help but pray for Kate Middleton and her recent diagnosis of cancer.

Illustration of a woman with short brown hair and rectangular glasses.

As I’m cooking breakfast for my husband on Palm Sunday, I find myself praying for Princess Kate, who was recently diagnosed with cancer.

My husband is a cereal man. He likes Wheaties and Cheerios and sometimes Rice Krispies. For this reason, I don’t usually cook breakfast. But today, I was feeling a little festive (it’s Palm Sunday), and I had a pound of bacon in the refrigerator. So, I began to cook, starting with the bacon. I laid six strips out in a frying pan(Ididn’tfeel like pulling out the electric griddle). Then, I scrambled four eggs and dumped them in a smaller pan. I had to dig around in the drawer to find just the right plastic spoon to stir the eggs. My husband is an engineer, and he likes me to use the right tool for every job.

And as I was stirring, my mind was blank. I wasn’t thinking of anyone in particular. I was in the zone, as they say. All of a sudden, I found myself praying for Kate Middleton, the princess with cancer over in the UK. I found this a little strange. I didn’t know her personally, but I did know of her through the media. She was beautiful, and she had three little children.

“Dear Lord, help Kate. Take away her cancer.”

As I began to flip each strip of bacon, I tried to figure out why I was compelled to pray for her out of a clear blue sky. And then, it came to me — Kate is part of the cancer community — my cancer community.

Everyone who lives or dies of cancer is kind of family to me. There’s Elsie, down the road, who has survived cancer three times, maybe even four. There’s Lynn, who used to live in the neighborhood but moved away. There’s Judy, who passed away years ago from breast cancer. And Annie, my neighbor when I was growing up. All women.

And then, there are all the folks worldwide, famous and not so famous.

Even though Kate is a princess, she’s still accessible to me because she’s suffering from something I suffered from. She’ll have to endure treatment just like I did. She needs prayer. And this morning during our breakfast preparations, she’s getting it.

I finish cooking the eggs and set them aside, thinking they’llremain hot on the stove. Then, I circle back to the bacon. By now, it is sizzling hot. I turn each piece, waiting for it to cook.

When it’s time to remove the bacon from the pan, I am aware that it’s not done right. It’s too crisp. Some might even call it burnt.

Does Kate ever burn the bacon?

I put the eggs and bacon on two plates, one for me and one for my husband. I add the danish, hot out of the oven. When I take a bite of eggs, I realize they’re ice cold. Keeping them on the stove didn’t work. And the bacon, again, is burnt.

I still consider this breakfast a success. This is not because of the food, but because I reached out over the sea, many, many miles to a fellow cancer warrior, and I wished her well.

We cancer folk, we’re all one.

And my dear husband didn’t complain one bit about the condition of breakfast.

He did mention that you “can’t burn cereal.”

He’s so right on that one. Except, of course, it’s oatmeal.

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