Cancer is Weird

With Jane Armentor

by Nicole LaCour

IMG_0551Fighting cancer changes your life. From the day the doctor gives you the diagnosis, things get weird. Maybe it’s looking forward to having strange chemicals put into your body and being disappointed when your white cell count is low and you have to skip a session. Maybe it’s laughing with your daughter in the wig room at Miles Perret as you try on different styles. Maybe it’s finding yourself wishing you had a more commonplace cancer, so you had someone to talk about it with. Maybe it’s the numbness in your feet and wearing shoes that you used to make fun of when your mom wore them. It’s drastically changing your diet and appreciating spring like you never have before. It’s having a party to shave your head and scheduling a rotation of friends and family who refuse to let you go to chemotherapy alone. Fighting and living with cancer brings weird things into your life.

Jane Armentor is used to things being a little weird. When she began college at USL in 1975, everyone thought she had a weird accent. She landed in Lafayette by way of a couple of years in England by way of eight years in Iran. “I loved it there,” she remembers. “In the winter, the snow would start at the top of the mountains and by the time it snowed in town, the mountains were covered in white. It was beautiful.” But an unusual childhood didn’t prepare her for hearing the news that she had stage IV pancreatic cancer that had metastasized to her liver. Jane had coaxed the initial news out of her doctor on the phone while she was at work. A lifetime smoker, Jane went to her car and reached for her habitual comfort.

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