First conversations with doctors are awkward, particularly when you’re 23 and you’ve been diagnosed with cancer. Inevitably, you’ll talk with many doctors in many hospitals in many rooms with the same uncomfortable chairs and outdated Windows XP computers connected to printers that make terrible rattles. And your parents will be there every time as well.
You’re going to have to answer questions about your name, address, habits, and, yes, what you do for a living, while your parents whisper the answers with you. But since I was diagnosed with cancer 12 months ago, every time a doctor arrived at “What do you do for a living?”, my parents remained silent, turning to look at me. He’s got to answer this one.
Illustration by Caty Bartholomew.