AN came back from his weekend with an ear that looked like it had been put through a paper-shredder. He came through the door 35 minutes late with blood, sweat, and tears. I thought a badger had attacked him in the parking lot. Which is strange as we did not have a badger problem.
“Dear Lord, AN, what has happened to you now?” I asked
With a ragged sob, he said “Ear…”
“Yes, I see your ear is red, purple, and bleeding. I also see snot and tears. What I don’t see is a reason for what has happened to you”
AN finally mumbled “I have ear cancer”
“DEAR LORD…what doctor did you go see?” I yelled
“Didn’t see a doctor…” AN is still mumbling
“You have ear cancer…(nod, nod)…You didn’t see a doctor? (nod,nod) HOW do you know you have ear cancer?” I really ask the question, I am not sure I want the answer
“My dad said I would get ear cancer…and I did.” AN is a 17 year old basket case, crying in front of his teammates now.
“AN, what did you do? Why did you develop ‘ear cancer’? AND how did you dad diagnose this condition?’ I am wanting to laugh. Can’t laugh…
“My dad told me not to pierce my ear. You remember I went to ‘Vegas with my brother? I pierced my ear.” The words are now spilling out of AN in a gout “I hid it for two months. Then, this morning I got up and felt a knot in my ear. IT WAS EAR CANCER! So, I mashed and mashed and mashed until some stuff came out of my ear. Do you think I am going to die?”
“AN, unless ignorance is a death sentence, you will live. You basically just ripped scar tissue out of your ear.” I was trying to talk as calmly as possible.
“YES, BUT AM I GOING TO DIE???” AN pants out this question.
“Yes, someday. But, I don’t think it is today.”