General Non-Fiction posted December 22, 2017

This work has reached the exceptional level
A surgeon and his patient talk...

Of Cupcakes and Cancer

by Gian-Paul Vidal

Dialogue Only Prompt Contest Winner 
The author has placed a warning on this post for language.

Hey, Mr. Jones. How are you feeling?

Oh, hey doc. I'm... fine.

Yeah? You feeling okay after your surgery?

Honestly, I don't know what I'm supposed to be feeling. Just yesterday, I was thinking about my future, y'know. I'm supposed to be opening up my own cupcake store, and now... now, you're telling me that my lung cancer has spread, and you had to stop the operation.

I know. I'm sorry, this really sucks. I wish I had better news.

And what's next, chemo? Hell no, I'm going to do chemo. You see my wife there, down the hall? She saved my life. She risked her own life to save mine and I for shit didn't deserve it. I was basically a dead man walking when my kidneys failed, but she wouldn't let that happen to me. She gave me one of her own kidneys. She went under the knife to give me a second chance. I'm not wasting that.

Wow. That's incredible.

Yeah, and the doctors here are telling me the chemo can kill off the kidney, so no. I'd rather die than fuck up the gift she gave me.

It's amazing the risk she took for you, and I get it, you won't let that go in vain.

No, I won't.

Well, okay... we'll talk to the oncologists and nephrologists and see what options we have.

I tell you, after everything in my life, now that I'm trying to be healthy and open the store--I'm supposed to open in the next month or two--but now, fuck, I might not even be alive that long.

We don't know that yet.

I tried turning things around when my kidneys started failing. I think it was from all the stress, y'know. I started in Wall Street and when I just couldn't deal with that anymore, I decided to start my own business. I put up a couple million dollars and started loaning it out to other people, and I was making bank. People were paying me back with interest. I had like a 1% default rate.

Wow. I don't even know how to think of money in those terms, haha.

Let me tell ya, I was in my 30's and I was living hard. I'd go out with my friends and we'd spend $10,000 at the best whore houses. We were crazy! Drinking. Cocaine. Everything. Know what I'm saying?

Haha, no, I don't. 

But, I stopped all that when I started having kidney problems, y'know. Stopped smoking, the
drinking. Eventually, I realized I was really good at making cupcakes. I had started baking with my wife and I loved it. I was baking all the time. My friends loved them, and so naturally being from Wall Street, I thought I should open up my own store.

From cocaine to cupcakes, nice transition.

Ha, well, y'know, doc. Anyway, I started making up these crazy recipes. Then, I began talking to farmers all over New Jersey to set up production. I was even considering buying my own farm, so I can own the cows.

You were making cupcakes out of cows? Like... cowcakes? 

What? Oh, you're messing with me! No, to make the cream--all homemade! But, that turned out to be really expensive, so I've been talking to distributors. It's all crazy. Here, take a look at some pictures.

Wow, those look amazing. Whenever you have the grand opening, I'll definitely come visit.

Yeah... doc, like I said, this was all supposed to happen next month. My wife's been great. She's been working with me the whole time and she's a great baker, too. But, now... how am I supposed to do that? I was supposed to come here and have my lung surgery, and now...

Well, listen, Mr. Jones. Keep your focus on your store. You need something to help push you forward through this. Something to look forward to.

I guess.

We still need to get the final pathology from the biopsy, and we still need to talk to the oncologist about what we can do that can spare your kidney. There's still got work to do.

Yeah, you're right, doc. So... what, you think I'll make it? I can be cured?

I can't say. I don't know. I don't want to get your hopes up.

So what, I got like 6 months?

I honestly can't speak to that. But, maybe. It's never good when the cancer has spread, but maybe with chemo we can get you more time. Maybe push that to a year. Get you time to spend with your wife.

... Fuck, doc.

Yeah... I know.

Writing Prompt
Write a story using only dialogue. No narration, descriptions, or sentence tags. Maximum word count: 1,000

Dialogue Only Prompt
Contest Winner

This is part of a conversation I had with a patient.

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