Josh Ring
Josh almost gets cancer, p.2

7.    I was going to Memorial Sloan-Kettering to see a pediatric oncologist the next day. My mom called her tennis partner to say that she wouldn't be able to play with her.

8.    The next day we went to the hospital in New York. We took a taxi. The building was large and grey. We walked inside. It was very cold outside. We went upstairs in the elevator and checked into the pediatric ward and sat down in the waiting room. I sat down and my parents sat next to me. We could see most of the room. It was full of patients and their families. All the patients seemed to look somehow the same. They were all very young. I thought I was the oldest patient there, and began to wonder why I was there altogether. They all had no hair and all had the same yellowish tint in their skin. I saw one of the patients who was receiving chemo through an I.V. who began to throw up. He seemed very sick. I tried not to look, but it upset my mother very much. She sighed and asked if we could sit somewhere else. She did not say why she wanted to move. We sat down in a row of chairs that faced the wall. She didn't want to look at any of the patients. I didn't know if I should be offended by that; I felt somehow connected to that small boy. I thought we were in the same situation. I wondered if she wanted to look at me. I looked at the back of my hand. It was still white, a little tan. I clenched my fist and watched it get whiter, and then I released it and put it back on the armrest next to my mother's.

9.    We waited a long time in the waiting room. I brought a book, but I couldn't read it. It was too noisy. I was tired, too.

10.    The doctor came to get me. We went to an exam room and he asked me a lot of questions. He had very long eyebrows. They curled over the corners of his eyes. He examined me and then asked me to wait outside again. He was going to look at the CAT scan I brought him. We waited a long time again before they brought us to another exam room. My mother was getting frustrated with how the long the wait was. I told her she could leave if she wanted to. She said no. The doctor came in with a few other doctors. They were standing in front of us. We were sitting in a row of chairs against the wall. I had to look up at him to look at his face. It hurt my neck so I just looked at his chest and glanced at his face whenever he said anything. He said that they looked at the scan and couldn't see any "mass." They said the other radiologist was wrong. My mom didn't understand. "So, does he have cancer?" she asked. They said no. My dad asked why I got sick. They didn't know. They said they would run a few more tests to make sure everything was okay. I sat there and didn't move. I thought I had cancer; I even was making cancer jokes that morning. When we walked out of the office, my mom hugged me. She had tears in her eyes.

11.    We left the hospital. It was already time for dinner. We went to a diner. I ate French toast. We didn't talk much. My mom called my brother to tell him the good news.

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More by Josh Ring:

Josh Goes to the Hospital January, 2004

Josh Goes to Services December, 2003

Josh's Jewish Reminders November, 2003

Josh Tells a Bedtime Story August, 2003

Josh Gets Contacts June, 2003

Josh Gets his Checkup May, 2003

Josh Plays the Sitar April, 2003

Josh Visits the Holocaust Museum February, 2003

The Subway January, 2003

Josh Gets His Book December, 2002

A Cold Front Was Supposed to be Moving In October, 2002

Josh Goes to the Zoo September, 2002

Dogs August, 2002

Mermaids on Parade July, 2002

Josh Ring Supports Israel June, 2002

February 2004

God Likes New Things
Abraham Joshua Heschel

You are God in Drag
Jay Michaelson

Davening with Joe
Michael Shurkin

Josh almost gets cancer
Josh Ring

Abraham Mezrich

Shari Goldman-Gottlieb

Spam Poetry

Our 440 Back Pages

David Stromberg

Zeek in Print
Winter 03 issue now on sale

About Zeek


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From previous issues:

Primal Scream Judaism
Temima Fruchter

They Gonna Crucify Me
Ken Applebaum