A Cancer On Society

| MN, USA | Friendly | May 26, 2016

(I’m 23 and look fairly young. After a doctor’s appointment I get on the train home, and after making sure there’s no one getting on who needs them more than me, I sit down in the accessible seats — the seats reserved for disabled riders.)

Man: *looks at me and shakes his head* “That’s just not right.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Man: “You have no right to be sitting there. You’re just young and lazy, and you’re taking those seats from someone who needs them. Get your a** up. Young people these days have no d*** respect. You need a reason to be seated in that area!”

Me: *bland look* “You mean, like cancer?”

Man: “Psh, yeah, right. What kind of cancer? Huh? You look healthy to me! Get up before I make you get up.”

(Since I just came from the doctor, I have my surgery, diagnostic, and recent check up reports on me. I pull them out and begin reading them to him.)

Me: “Diagnosis: Lymphoma; surgery report, 40 Cancerous nodes; surgery date, [just over two weeks ago]; radiation—”

Man: “With that attitude, it’s no wonder you got it! I’m glad you got cancer the way you act!”

Man’s Friend: *smacks him on the head* “What the h*** is wrong with you?! SHUT UP! Miss, I’m sorry about him. I hope you feel better soon.”

(He dragged his still-complaining friend away. The kicker? My public transit card hung around my neck and had “DISABILITY” clearly labeled on it, and I was still wearing my hospital wrist band, with ONCOLOGY in bold black letters. Hopefully he learned not to judge a young person just because they “look healthy.”)

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