Finding the humor in cancer

Whaddya gonna do?
Whaddya gonna do?

“I have to take a fecal sample to the hospital- which Tupperware container can I use?”

I blinked twice having to re-read the text message multiple times before full computing what it said. I was in a business lunch of course and immediately excused myself into the empty conference room next door to quickly call him before he crapped in my favorite lunch container.

“Babe!!! Get out of my cabinets right now and drive to the family doctor to get a specimen container!”

“But these ziplock containers look great they even have screw on lids.”


He refused to drive 10 minutes down the road to get a specimen cup from the doctor and I refused to let him use any of my Tupperware (that stuff’s expensive ya’ll) and so he resorted to a gallon ziplock bag. I will spare you the mechanics of how this actually worked but I can tell you as he recounted the details of it I was dying laughing.

Okay that’s not true. I have to tell you some of the issues with this. If one were to sit on a toilet with a gallon ziplock bag attached to their nether regions there is simply not enough space and the bag ends up floating in the water so this isn’t doable. 

I asked if he sat on the edge of the tub, to which he replied “Huh….that would’ve been a good option.”

So unfortunately he ended up squatting on the bathroom floor trying to balance while holding a ziplock bag against his nether regions in the middle of our master bathroom floor. (So much for the ambiance I have tried to create next to my bath tub with candles and soothing pictures…this is what we’ve been reduced to.)

My meeting was in the building behind the hospital so I again excused myself to head over and start the paperwork to expedite the process. I mean my husband was currently driving down the interstate with a gallon ziplock bag of poop sitting in his passenger seat. We needed to end this as quickly as possible.

I arrived at the hospital lab and tried to explain who I was and what was happening to the front desk.

“Ma’am we don’t have any orders for your husband and we can’t accept any samples from him until we receive them,” they told me.

I took a deep breath and tried to relay the urgency of the situation to the clerk. “It’s 105 degrees outside and my husband has a bag of poop he is bringing in to you. It’s not like we can leave it in the car until you guys get the orders,” I implored. “You have GOT to help me out on this.”

He assured me there was nothing he could do. I sat down in the waiting room and called the emergency line at our oncologist’s office. While holding for the nurse I simultaneously texted my husband so that he too could call in. I mean this was just too much. How much humiliation can one man face in a day

Our oncologist’s nurse assured us that they had faxed in the orders at least 5 times, The end of the story is that someone in the lab saw the orders come in, they realized it was a stat order and they immediately pocketed them to make sure they had them in hand when the sample came in. Just another ridiculous occurrence of miscommunication.

So the hubs parks at the hospital (might I add it was the wrong entrance). He is instructed to walk to the far end of the hospital. So with his bag of poop he walks through the entire length of the hospital before actually finding the lab. When he arrived at the lab he was again told that there were no orders. He was directed to another waiting room to which he proceeded (poop in hand) to wait there. After an hour and a half they realized they did in fact have the orders and he could, at last, hand over his bag of excrement and go about his normal day. The entire process took an hour and a half. I want you to picture having to defecate in a ziplock bag, drive it 30 minutes to a hospital, and then be shuffled from waiting room to waiting room for an additional hour and a half before finally handing it over and bee-lining it to a bathroom to scrub yourself from top to bottom (surgeon-style) before being allowed to go on with your life.

The moral of the story is that even though cancer is horrible and scary and awful….sometimes the situations we find ourselves in are just downright hysterical. So if your’e having a bad day ask yourself….”Is it a bag of poop in my passenger seat kind of bad day?” or is it less than that? And THAT is how we measure our successes at this point.