This just in: I am totally turning into Woody Allen’s hypochondriac character in “Hannah and Her Sisters:”
The other morning, while brushing my teeth, I became convinced that the bottom of my mouth – the salivary glands – were swollen with cancer! I mean I was convinced! I inspected them and quickly came to the conclusion that they had never been so large and that in the three months since my last CAT scan, my abdominal cancer had taken over my mouth! I spent a solid fifteen minutes googling and staring at horrible images of mouth tumours. Then I called my dentist and explained the situation. I’m sure they thought I was NUTS, but they were totally cool. Since I was due for a cleaning anyway, they said I should just come in and they would take a look at my highly suspicious, swollen, I’m about to die, cancerous mouth.
On the streetcar over I prepared for the worst. “Your cancer has spread to your mouth. We we will have to remove your entire mouth, you will no longer be able to speak.” I started to sweat. Walking the few blocks to the dentist’s office I passed a beautiful old church – Toronto has an amazing assortment of stunning old churches – and I decided that I should go in and say a few prayers. I tossed money in the saint’s box and lit a candle:
“Dear God, please don’t let my mouth become mis-shaped from this horrible cancer. I already have a tummy that is mangled looking, I don’t want a mangled face as well. Please help Tom and my family deal with this terrible new diagnosis. If I need to get traditional chemo, please let me keep my eyebrows. I don’t mind losing my hair, it’s been fucked up ever since my HIPEC/hot chemo treatment. I will purchase a nice pink wig with bangs, but I really like my eyebrows. And please don’t let me get down to 90 pounds again, because I already gave away all of my “emaciated clothing” to The Salvation Army. Again, please bless my family and Tom. Thank you.”
After several ridiculous prayers and many dollars later, I left the church and walked the death march to the dentist. I love my dentist, he is the best. He assured me that although the bottom of my mouth was larger than most people’s, there was nothing to be worried about. But, he said it was totally normal that with a large-bottomed mouth like mine I might think there was a problem (bless his heart!). Oh the Joy I felt upon hearing that my cancer had not spread to my mouth! I practically danced all the way home and then passed out exhausted on my bed, dreaming of pink wigs and saints and perfect mouths.