Hi, I Have CancerCommentary • Opinion • ISSUE 31•06 • Feb 19, 1997 By Jerry Frye – I Love Life Jerry Frye Hi there! What'cha up to? Just hanging out? Me, too. My name's Jerry. I have cancer. You come to this park much? I do, 'cause I live right over there. You can see my apartment building from here if you stand on your tippy-toes and look just past that blue one. I live with another guy named Gregg. He's pretty cool. The place is pretty small, though. I really can't afford anything bigger, though, because I have lots of doctor bills 'cause I have cancer. That's a cool jacket. Where'd you get it? I like the colors, even though I really don't follow the Vikings. Hockey, right? I'm not into sports much, which is actually kind of weird, because my dad was a gym teacher and a coach for all sorts of stuff at my high school. Then again, maybe that's why I didn't get into it. You know, teacher's son and all—that's embarrassing when you're a teenager. That jacket's real neat, though. I bet it's warm. I need warm clothes because my bones never stop aching. It's more than an ache, though. It's more like, well, like all of my bones are on fire. Where'd you say you got that jacket? It's cool. Do you go to school here? You do? What's your major? Chemistry, huh? Wow. I couldn't handle that! I took Chemistry 140 for the science credits, and I barely passed. I like science, but once you start throwing in all those chemical equations—oh, hold on just a second. Just hold on. I gotta squat down here for a minute... Whew! All right, I'm okay now. I was just feeling a a little nauseous there for a bit, but it passed. Anyway, like I was saying, chem is way over my head. Yup, I was in school here, too, but then I dropped out. I figured, what's the use in continuing? It's not going to do me any good anyway, so why waste the time? What? Oh, you thought I was talking about the cancer! That's funny. No, I dropped out more than a year before I found out about that. What I meant was, what's the use in getting a degree in comparative literature? It won't get me a job. Not that I have to worry about a job now, huh? I mean, now that I have cancer. The doctors say it could be a year, or it could be today, any minute, even—maybe right here in this very park! Uh, oh. I think I'm getting nauseous again. Whoops! False alarm! Hey, I'm glad I met you. I really get a kick out of talking to people and finding out what they're all about, and then telling them that I have cancer. You seemed like an interesting person, so I figured I'd say hello. I'll see you around, I'm sure. Wait a minute. What's your name? I don't think I caught your name, even! Mitch. Okay, Mitch, I'll remember that. And I'm Jerry, like I said, or, if it's easier for you to remember, you can just call me Cancer Dude or Cancer Man or Freaky Guy Who Tells Everyone He Meets For The First Time That He Has Cancer. Or just, That Guy With Whom I Just Had The Most Awkward Conversation Ever. Or Jerry. Whatever you find easiest to remember. See you around, if I don't die first! Bye!