Cancer Card

I was at a diner during one of my recovery weeks of chemo. For those of you who don’t know what a “recovery week” is, it’s basically exactly what it sounds like. It’s a week off of chemo so your body can bounce back before getting back into what I like to call “the chair”- because “chemo” has been sounding like a dirty word to me lately.

As I ordered my two eggs over medium, toast, bacon, and home fries (diet starts Monday!) I noticed a sign that read “All veterans, police, firefighters, and seniors 10%” off. My first thought was “of course, how kind of this establishment to recognize each hard working category” my second thought what “wait, why isn’t there a discount for chemo patients and survivors?”

When the check came for my high calorie meal I wanted to slap the plastic bill folder thing (what do they call those?) and reply, “I have cancer.” Mostly just to see how the waiter would respond, but I also could use a 10% discount these days.

I’m not saying that vets, police, firefighters, and seniors aren’t deserving of their discount (thank you for your service), but chemo patients and survivors have a lot of the same trauma after shall we say their “service.”

Many cancer patients experience PTSD, massive anxiety, and survivor’s guilt, just to name a few hardships patients battle after and during their treatments.

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we were rewarded a chemo card after our diagnosis?

“I’m sorry Mark, but you have cancer. But hey! IHOP is giving double discounts today so go get yourself a buttermilk stack, here’s your cancer card.”

That stack of pancakes would go down very nicely after hearing the news of cancer. And maybe the card could accumulate reward points? Like every 5th iced coffee at Dunkin Donuts you purchase you get a free doughnut! I’ll take a Boston crème please.

Or what if our cancer cards were linked to a debit card and each purchase could round up to any charity of our choice? I would choose Audrey’s Angels but it’s your card, choose whatever you’d like.

Cancer and treatment is tough, I think we deserve a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to get us through the adversity that cancer brings.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that I have been given nothing during this hard time. I’ve been given love, support, incredible care packages, and tighter relationships with my friends and family. But hey, 10% off pancakes would be pretty freakin’ awesome.

So if anyone from any major card company reads this, please consider me for your spokesperson- attached below is a headshot that reveals my acting range

Photo by: Derrick Cohan
Photo by: Derrick Cohan

Where would you use your cancer card? Apparently I would use mine solely for sugary foods…Diet starts Monday!


4 thoughts on “Cancer Card

  1. Humor is a fine medicine. I think even better than those chemo drugs. So thanks for giving us all a dose, Mark, as you continue to heal yourself. Truth is, about your story, don’t we all deserve a discount, a boost, in paying all our bills? Isn’t there something unique and special about all of us? Truth is, I think we all do get a boost. Life really is rich and those discounted, free for the noticing, specials are all around us. I have no doubt you are keenly aware of this. Continued well wishes to you!


  2. Dear Mark,
    I met and hung out with you briefly immediately following my divorce over five and a half years ago. We haven’t been in touch for awhile but I think of you now and then because you were an angel to me in a terrible time in my life. I am sad that you are dealing with this again. I will pray for your continued healing and for peace. It sounds like you have a great support system. I’m happy to hear that. Big hug.


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