Recordings of Gianna’s Family: Part Five – Gianna/Stacy

stories about cancer diagnosis

May 26th, 2015. Kitchen.

[crying, long-lasting]

So that’s it. I’m done. I got the number.

[pause]

Maybe a year. It’s not what the doctor gave me, but it’s what I’m giving myself. People have lasted years and years after their expiration date. I don’t know if that’s a good thing, but there you go. Um…

[blows nose]

You know, if this were anything else, it might not bother me so much. Something contagious. Then I can at least say “oh, I caught it from something. it wasn’t me.” But no. This was me. My body said “Gi, your mother had cancer, your soul mate had cancer, now you have to get it. Why? I don’t know, but, you know, that’s life. Get over it. You’ll be lying in the grave, watching your children turn 45 from the afterlife, getting a diagnosis in a doctor’s office. Dead. All of you, dead.

Oh, my god. Listen to me. Stacy says this crap, not me.

[deep breaths]

Just… get it out…

[more sobs]

Alright. Ok. I think we’re good.

Nancy’s maturing. She’ll have to, so that’s good. Vinny… well, we’ll have to teach Vinny how to address people personally, not finding out my password and leaving notes on my computer, but… they’re good kids. Even Ari.

[long pause]

Screw it.

[fridge opens]

I don’t care at this point, I’m eating it. See your youngest daughter eating her birthday cake knowing it’s not going to make her throw up. I don’t care. I’ll puke it out. Hopefully…

…it’s not bad. I’ve tasted better, but I’ll take it.

[sighs]

It’s like when I first got the news again, I’ve been breaking down all day.

[door opens]

The waves-

“Gi!”

…Stacy?

“I was on my way back home, but I gotta talk to you.”

…you want some?

“You can’t eat cake.”

No, but it tastes good.

[scoffs, chair pulls up]

“You’re stubborn, you know that?” [through cake chewing] “And if you’re gonna sabotage yourself, at least make it taste good.”

I’ll remember that, Stacy, thank you.

“…were you recording something?”

I… it’s fine. Here.

End Recording.

May 26th, 2015. Kitchen.

“-he calls me. He asks, ‘who’s Anthony’, and I tell him, you know, high school friend, we talk all the time. Every guy I talk to, it’s like I wanna jump in the bed with.”

You know that’s a thing with the men you date.

“Gi.”

We both know it. And I’m pretty sure you like that.

“I… it’s not the worst thing in the world, but I don’t love it. My one thing, though – he’s never jealous when he sees me talking to my girlfriends. I could be secretly a lesbian. He doesn’t get jealous about that.”

He’s probably hoping for a threesome.

“Yeah. Neither of us have the stamina for that. Let’s be real. I was talking to Clara? Her cousin works in the industry?”

Alright. I shouldn’t have said that. Now I’m done eating. Stace, look… I was in the middle of a recording, I wanna finish it.

“Well is anything wrong?”

No, it’s just a weekly entry. I didn’t do it yesterday, so I’m doing it today.

…What?

“You’re not getting worse, are you?”

No.

“Alright. I didn’t wanna say anything, but it looked like you were crying when I walked in.”

[sighs]

I… I was. Things have come up.

“What things?”

“Gi, what things?”

“Is it the cancer? What’s happening?”

They- [blows nose]

“Oh, my god.”

They gave me a number. An… an expiration date.

“An expiration date… Well WHAT’S THE EXPIRATION DATE?!

Stacy…

“They gave you a NUMBER?”

The doctor who gave it to me is kind of a fatalist, I’ll probably live a lot longer than-

“What’s the number, Gi? And why is this thing on-“

It’s 3 months.

“Three months.”

It’s probably more of a year. Treatment, the cancer’s doing weird things, um… again, the doctor will give you a week to live if you had a cold, but…

“But it’s gonna happen.”

[chair moves, falls over. footsteps, sobs]

I already know what I’m leaving to everyone, I’m gonna keep going to treatment-

“So you’re just giving up?!

No.

“Because it sounds like you’re just giving up and dying in the corner.”

No, Stacy. I’m not giving up, and I resent the implication. Don’t tell me I’m trying to die in a corner.

“Well you seem pretty accepting that this thing’s murdering you. Mom never acted like this.”

Stop talking.

“Mom said ‘fuck you’ to the cancer. She said she didn’t care what it thought-“

I’m trying to make sure my kids can live without their mother, do you think I’d change that if I had ANY SAY IN IT?! DON’T COMPARE ME TO MOM LIKE THAT! EVER!

“…Well-“

FUCK YOU, STACY. I HAVE THREE KIDS AND A HOUSE TO PAY OFF ON TOP OF FUCKING CANCER BILLS. FROM MY HUSBAND’S TREATMENT. THREE YEARS AGO!

“Gi-“

YOU HAVE TO PAY A $700 RENT ON A SHITTY APARTMENT. THOSE ARE YOUR BIGGEST PROBLEMS. FUCK YOU, STACY. TELL ME I’M FUCKING GIVING UP AGAIN.

[pause]

Shit. Shit.

“Ok. I’m sorry, Gianna.”

Just… jesus fuck-

End Recording.

May 26th, 2015. Kitchen.

“-I can’t let this be the last thing we said.”

Stacy.

“Gi?”

…Alright. Do whatever.

…I’m fine, Stacy, talk into the thing. Say what you want.

“Ok. This is for future Gianna. The one without the cancer. I- did you roll your eyes?”

Yes.

“Well that’s fine. I’ll just say what I want. I love you, Gigi. You are my best friend. You are the strongest person I’ve ever met, and I would be a wreck without you. We all would. And you’re gonna beat this thing. And if you don’t, we’ll move on. We’ll be devastate, but we’ll move on.”

Thank you, Stacy.

“You’re not giving up.”

I know I’m not giving up.

“Good. Come here.”

I need that right now. Thanks.

“And you still look amazing without any hair. You don’t look like a hawk anymore.”

…I’ll take it.

End Recording.

next chapter: Recordings of Gianna’s Family: Part Six – Arianna

previous chapter: Recordings of Gianna’s Family, Part Four – Nancy

all chapters: ALL CHAPTERS

more by Recordings of Gianna’s Family

photograph by Allans Brain

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Christian DeAngelis

Renegade extraordinaire. Only by nights, though. And only on Tuesdays.

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