My doctoral dissertation, “The Rhetoric of Storytelling: A Study in Multicultural Communication,” dealt with the importance of metaphors, based on the work by Lakoff and Johnson in Metaphors We Live By. So once again, I’m dealing with my own personal metaphors in my war against cancer. I’ve decided today that I am a cancer street fighter. Street fighters are stealthy and fight dirty. You gonna tell me I have cancer and that I have a chance of getting it again? Screw that, take the cancer bags away! HA! Take that Cancer! Now let’s see what you do! Actually, let’s not see what you do–stay way! And here’s what I’m going to do to keep you away–
1. I’m going to assemble a team of some of the most bad-ass cancer street fighters to be on my team. We’ll start with Dr. Kitty, because I like the way she thinks. We also have Beaches, the talk doc. OK, she’s NOT really a doc, but she has a lot of degrees. She’s a talk doc. We also have the medical oncologist, Doc Beauty. We had to get rid of Storm–she had that radioactive power that I didn’t like very much. Her power scares me. We will have no scary people on my Cancer Street Fighter team! We have a new member of the team joining us soon, Dr. Brazil, the plastics expert. We’re still researching his credentials before we let him on the team for good–he is a provisional member right now.
2. Once I have the medical Cancer Street Fighters assembled, I have to get the social Cancer Street Fighters together. I met a group of some at Gilda’s Club last week. Some of them were more Street Fighter-ish than others. I must infiltrate the group more fully to decide who will be on my team from that locale. I know there is good power there, and DH and DS can pick up some sweet Cancer Street Fighting moves from hanging out with that crew. I also have Sharsheret on my side. Those girls are Cancer Street Fighter MASTERS! They have chains and stuff! Cancer doesn’t stand a chance against the Sharsheret team!
3. The third leg of the Cancer Street Fighter team leads them all. The Big Guy. Now, I have to admit, I’ve been a little angry at our Head Street Fighter for a while now. It’s fine, we have an understanding. He knows what I’m going through and understands my anger, even if I don’t. But this important aspect of the team metaphor is substantial. My religious community supports me and lifts me when I can’t lift myself. They are super Cancer Street Fighters, whether they realize it or not. I am fortunate to have a few different communities of spiritual cancer street fighters on my side. I’m going to need a lot of help from those street fighters after my surgeries, for sure, so I’m going to have to get them assembled ahead of time. I will choose only the brightest, stealthiest, and best street fighters–wimps need not apply!
4. A stool is probably strongest with four legs, so I’m going to have to train my family in the ways of the Cancer Street Fighter. I think for a lot of people, perhaps them included (perhaps not), becoming a Cancer Street Fighter is a daunting task. They don’t know the moves, don’t know the secret handshake, don’t know what to say when, and don’t know how to handle the reduction in power of one of the sweetest-skilled Cancer Street Fighters in their midsts. I’m going to have to train them in exactly what I need, but will also need the other Cancer Street Fighters assembled to help them along. They’ve never been on this ride before, and are a little unsure of their footing.
There. I have the teams assembled and just confirmed an appointment with Dr. Brazil for tomorrow. My plan is coming together–we are going to kick Cancer’s ass! Oh yeah, Cancer, you messed with the wrong Jew–not only am I going to get all Cancer Street Fighter on you, I’m going to get all Israeli Cancer Street Fighter on you, and remember, there is NO Breast Cancer in Israel!