The Four Unwanted Words

By Ron Telpner

Like my father before me, and my grandmother before him, I am a person of words. My daughter Meghan is the same.

I write for a living, whether it is copy for an ad, a speech for a client, or an opinion piece for a magazine. I love words. I love the architecture of a well-written paragraph. I get joy from seeing just how magical a turn of phrase can be.

I am 60 years old and a lot of words have crossed my lips, crossed my mind and ended up on a page, in an ad, or as a quote. Like I said, I love words.

But I never imagined the impact it would have on me of hearing the four words, strung together by my doctor, on September 7th, 2010.

Those words were, “ You have prostate cancer”.

I think he said a few more words after that, but I am not sure I heard them. The one thing I was clear on was that I heard, “you have cancer”.

Then he said something about let’s just wait and see what happens. Did I just hear him say, “You have cancer and we’ll just wait and see what happens?” I [...] continue the story