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!

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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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