Contest RecapMidlife Collage sponsors a weekly contest of midlife short stories. U.S. citizens and legal residents age 40 and older may enter. The Editor selects five stories for publication on our website each week. Readers leave comments and Facebook thumbs-up likes urging the panel of Judges to choose a contest winner. Readers also send the Judges their opinions of the best story on our Closing Arguments page. The contest period is Monday through Sunday noon PT. The first-place story enters the Winner’s Circle and receives a cash prize of $50. Winners of a $50 cash prize are eliglble for a $100 contest, which we run quarterly. See the Submissions Page for the Contest Rules for details. ANYONE, worldwide, age 18 or older can comment on the stories in a contest.
Ten-year-old Janet looked across the kitchen table at her little sister, me, and said, “If you eat my vegetables Joyce, you can have my dessert.”
I answered, “Sure.”
As soon as I ate her vegetables, our mother walked in and said, “Good job Janet. You ate all of your vegetables. Since you cleaned your plate, you can have dessert. Joyce, eat your vegetables and go to your room.”
This happened almost daily, I got double vegetables and Janet got dessert.
Forty-five years later, Janet looked up at me from her hospital bed and said, “I should have eaten my vegetables.”
She died and a year later, I was told that I had a lump in my breast and needed it removed.
I was awake during the operation to remove the lump but I’m sure my doctor was sorry because I never stopped talking! It was such an exciting experience, and I asked so many questions that I was afraid she was going to knock me out.
Several days later I went to have the stitches removed. The doctor walked into the exam room clutching her clipboard against her chest and hanging her head down looking at the floor. I knew she had bad news.
After she told me the lab results showed the lump was cancerous, I didn’t hear another word she said.
She had set up an appointment for me to see an oncologist. I went to the appointment and the oncologist was only concerned that I start chemo the following Monday.
I told him, “I will have radiation but I am not doing chemo.”
“You can’t have radiation until after five sessions of chemo.”
I walked out of the doctor’s office and the nurse told me, “We’ll see you Monday at 10 a.m.”
I went home and called to cancel my appointment.
Despite my cancellation, the phone rang Monday about 9 a.m. to remind me of my appointment. I yelled into the phone, “I’m not doing chemo.”
The doctor called me back to tell me, “If you don’t have chemo, you have only one year to live, two at the most.”
I listen to my gut feelings to make decisions in life. October is my 12th anniversary—cancer free.