The taxi diaries

12:15 AM, Friday night, in a taxi

Taxi Driver: Are you coming home from work right now?

Steph: No, I was at a party.

TD: Oh.

S: I’m actually not working right now.

TD: Oh. What did you study in school?

S: English. Not very useful. Do you like your job?

TD: Nope.

S: Oh, that’s too bad. What would you rather be doing?

TD: I used to do something with pharmaceuticals. My old company X is being bought by company Y.

S: Oh yah, I know those companies.

TD: Really?

S: Sure. I’ve taken my share of pharmaceuticals.

TD: You take pharmaceuticals?

S: Not as many now, but a bunch in the past.

TD: Oh, what were you taking them for?

S: Cancer.

TD: WHAT?! Cancer?! Oh my goodness. You are so young!

S: Yepper.

TD: Sorry for asking you about this.

S: It’s fine, I talk about it all the time.

TD: What kind of cancer?

S: Breast cancer.

TD: WHAT?! Breast cancer!!! NO! WHAT?!

The taxi driver turns on his interior light and spins around in his seat to get a better look at the young cancer patient.

TD: Oh my goodness. You are so young! Wow. Wow. Wow.

S: It’s okay. I’m doing fine.

Steph marvels at the fact that she now has to calm down a taxi driver about her having cancer.

TD: So is there some kind of genetic thing?

S: Not that they know of. But my dad had breast cancer, so probably.

TD: Wait, WHAT?! Your dad? You mean he had prostate cancer?

S: No. Breast cancer. Male breast cancer. It’s rare, but it happens.

TD: Oh my goodness. Wow. I can’t believe this. Wow.

S: Yepper. That’s why I have this short hairdo.

Taxi driver spins around in his seat again… while driving.

TD: You had the chemo?!

S: Yep.

TD: Oh my. Gosh. So what are you taking now?

S: Tamoxifen.

TD: Oh, Tamoxifen. Okay. Did they give you antioxidants?

S: Uh, no.

TD: Okay. You have to eat berries. Lots of berries.

S: I eat berries every day.

TD: Good. Doesn’t matter what kind of berry. Black, blue, strawberry. Every day. You have to.

S: Sure.

TD: And tomatoes! Are you eating your tomatoes?

S: Yep. I eat a ton of tomatoes.

TD: But not raw. You have to grill them on the barbecue.

S: Sure thing.

TD: And you have to make sure you eat the seeds inside the tomato. That’s the important part. Every day, you need to eat the seeds.

S: Uh huh.

TD: And the other thing is bananas with milk. Our bodies are full of electricity. Like when you rub a comb on  your hair and it stands up.

S: Static electricity.

TD: Yes! That’s it. We’re all just electricity. So you have to eat the bananas in the milk. Not so many bananas every day. But just one banana with the milk.

S: I eat a lot of bananas so I think I’m good.

TD: Just do all these things and you’ll be fine, I promise. It’s really just about a lifestyle change.

S: Okay, yep, sure, thanks.

The taxi pulls up in front of the house.

TD: I wish you the best of luck.

S: Thank you! I appreciate it.

TD: And I hope to see you soon. Do the things I said and then you’ll see me again and tell me I was right.

S: Sure! Have a good night! BYE!

10 thoughts on “The taxi diaries

  1. Funny how people who’ve just met you can have a list of suggestions 100x that of the specialist whose been working with you for months. Anything to fill the silence of difficult moments! Frantic solutions ≠ compassion, but I guess it’s hard to register this until your on the receiving end of the never-ending advice.

    Oh well, off to eat some bananas.

    Thanks for continuing to write Steph!

  2. In the last taxi ride I had, I thought I was going to die. Literally. He was going like 90 mph and weaving erratically and wouldn’t slow down when we screamed for him to. I thought we were safe when we got to regular streets, but then he tried to veer around a car turning left on *the left* side. I still tipped him because I’m a pansy.

    But yes, just keep doing all the things you were already doing that he told you to do and you’ll be fine!

  3. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your posts ! I look forward to reading them. How sweet of the taxi driver ! We are ALL connected ! And …I’m happy to hear about bananas…I too have them everyday…but they are so controversial ! :)

  4. Don’t you wish it was as eating berries to keep the cancer away?!? Bless that little taxi driver’s heart! Great post! Michele

    Please excuse any typos, sent from my iPad.


  5. Steph! This is the best!!:) I get the same reaction all the time. I’ve had discussions about my cancer with ppl on the subway. I looove how he gives you a list of things you need to be eating haha.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • I know! At first I thought it was just a nice and innocent conversation, but then when he started giving me all his “tips”, I was like, alright, here we go again…

  6. So funny!!
    I had DCIS but never had a taxi talk about it
    However I am legally blind
    I work at the school for children who ate blind or visually impaired and have had some good taxi talks coming home from work
    Because I don’t use a white cane and they don’t see me read print they assume I can see n normally I get wow how do those blind people do things? Can you emagine what it is like? And so on and so on
    Some days I just say yes they are capable of doing it all I teach many tricks to get things done if you have little or no sight
    People think they know who’s in their car, but only if they knew hey :)

    Sent from my iPhone


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