No, not my own, thankfully, nor anyone in my family or immediate circle of friends. But I’m a casual acquaintance of Pleasant Plains, the online handle of a feller in Arkansas who, along with his wife Sunny Successor (another handle, obv!), both post regularly to ILX. Both PP and Sunny are solid folks, thoughtful, funny as hell, and generally sharp all around, and their young daughter Beeps is a sweetheart if the photos are any indication.
Yesterday, PP, who is only in his thirties, started a new thread on the board simply titled “TMI: Colon Cancer” — I will reprint his opening words here:
This is my way of wearing one of those stupid yellow wristbands. I’m not trying to get sympathy posts or words of encouragement because, as much as those might be appreciated (and they would), they make for a boring thread.
I’m posting my experience with colon cancer for public awareness and to answer questions. I almost ignored this problem, and it would be a shame if someone else ignored it too.
So anyway. On with the show. And I warn you, it’s a very, very graphical show. Sensitive viewers are advised.
This is the thread where I talk about my experience with cancer.
Please keep his words in mind if you do choose to read the thread — he is not kidding on the sensitive part. But I do strongly encourage the read — as I just posted on the thread, one thing that I hadn’t fully understood was how good a writer PP is, and he is. He balances perspectives, the personal, a sense of fine detail, the overall nightmarish quality and the many kindnesses and much more in his story, which he is still writing.
To focus on the quality of his writing rather than the specifics of his situation may seem strange, but as I see it it’s the tone of his posts — acknowledgment, awareness and a clear sense of providing as much as he wishes to share — which take care of that on their own. Therefore, no need for me to add anything to it. As he says later in the thread in response to those of us who had posted comments, “Thanks for the kind words. Again, I’m not trying to solicit sympathy….And for those wondering about the ending, I am writing this right now. That should give you a clue.”
A couple of weeks back I did my snark on Prosty the Spokesgland because, well, after all, it deserved it. But as I said at the time, it wasn’t because I didn’t take the existence of cancer lightly given family history. PP’s story serves as another reminder about how nobody should.