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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

From the SHOWCASE archives...

No column this morning. I tried to write one but it proved too difficult, as this morning we’re at the oncology clinic, getting the results from my wife’s latest diagnostic imaging workup. I wanted to write about how crucial she’s been to the development of STUPEFYING STORIES, right from the very start, but everything I wrote kept coming out wrong.

Ergo, here instead is today’s installment in our ongoing “Best of SHOWCASE” series. My wife wants it known that she is the one who originally pulled this one of the slush pile and said we had to buy it, she is the one who decided we should run it today, and she thinks it’s absolutely hilarious.

“Never give up. Never surrender.” How can you not love a woman who answers a question about continuing treatment by quoting Galaxy Quest?

¤

Fiction: “Lucky,” by Russell C. Connor

Illustration by Keith Rosson


You don’t exactly feel like you’ve won the lottery when you get cancer.
 
But that’s how my doctor made it sound, when he called me into his office to discuss the test results for the lump on my right arm, just inside the bend of the elbow. I swear, the old fart—just some quack I found online by searching near my house—had a tinge of actual excitement in his voice as he read off the diagnosis. It was all gibberish to me, words like synovial sarcoma and monophasic epithelial, but then he got to a phrase simple enough for me to latch onto.

“What was that?” I interrupted the stream of medical chatter.

He looked up from the paper and pushed his glasses off the tip of his nose. “I said, ‘this form of growth is rare, occurring in an average of one person per million.’”

“One in a million,” I repeated slowly. A cliché. Something you whispered to your sweetie when you gave her that ring with the obscene diamond. But even though I’d heard and said those words countless times in my life, they suddenly seemed like an entirely new concept. “So you’re telling me there are only about seven thousand people in the entire world who have this kind of cancer?”

The doc smiled at me—smiled, if you can believe it, and Jesus did I want to slap that expression right back off his face—and said, “Actually, it’s probably less than that. There are two possible types of cell growth associated with synovial sarcoma, and it looks like you have them both.”

Wow. Lucky me...

[read the rest of the story]

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