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I would like all of you in the blogosphere to put out good thoughts for a good friend of mine, who is getting surgery today for her thyroid cancer.

My friend @Suminycricket has been one of my best friends since we were 13 years old. She’s a devoted friend who always makes me laugh, and an excellent auntie to Owl.

Back in November she shot me an email, saying

“I’m writing because I thought you’d be interested to know: I have a goiter. I kid you not! At first I thought I was undergoing an unplanned sex-change, but apparently it is my thyroid.  I’ve named the goiter Henry.”

We spent some time joking about Henry, but then in January she sent me an email sympathizing with me over the loss of my cat, and then casually throwing in, “Also, I just found out today that I have thyroid cancer!  It sounds awful, but is one of the most curable types around with a near 100% survival rate, so really it’s not so bad.”

While I and her husband and her mother and MY mother freaked out, my friend was sending me hilarious text messages about the Henry saga.

Then she got double-whammy news – Henry had a mate, they both had to be surgically removed, and when things were done, she wouldn’t have a thyroid any more. And the surgery? Scheduled for two days before her birthday.

So when I got this email, I knew that I couldn’t let her down:

“Will you write me a hilarious poem about thyroid cancer? I was trying to come up with a short poem, and the best I could come up with was “happy birthday to me, I now am cancer free.” 

It was a tall order, not the least because she had to suffer from a disease which is not easy to rhyme. Believe it or not, rhyming dictionaries were significantly unhelpful for words that rhyme with “goiter” or “Henry”.

Also, cancer is not the funniest of subject matter.

So the poem is pretty poor.

But it’s the best I could do, and hopefully it will give her a laugh.

The Ballad Of Henry

He started as only a bump,
A barely perceptible lump
And you said, “This is strange,
what is causing this change?
My neck is increasingly plump!”

But then it increased in its span
and you said “now I look like a man!”
It continues to grow,
and it’s starting to show,
I think I should go for a scan.”

The doc said “it’s good to not loiter,
but I can tell from my reconnoiter
It’s under your hyoid
on top of your thyroid
So likely it’s only a goiter.”

“A goiter,” you said, “well that’s fine.
I’ll just have to take iodine.
I’ll eat lots of kelp,
and I’m sure that will help.”
But Henry had other designs.

Poor Henry, he liked you a lot.
Your gland was just such a nice spot.
He meant you no harm
but the docs got alarmed
when they saw all the friends he had brought.

The doctors would not let things rest
til they put you through all sorts of tests
Then they said, “here’s the answer!
It turns out it’s cancer!”
“Well, that’s fucking great,” you professed.

“This cancer’s not bad,” they opined
“In fact, it is often benign.
And quick radiation
Will end Henry’s vacation
if it turns out he’s really malign.”

But Henry was far too prodigious
He was getting too big for his britches.
“We’ll take the whole gland
While Rob holds your hand
Before Henry can send out his bitches.”

And you said “are you sure this is so?
Is Henry really my foe?”
“You got too close when we
named this thing Henry
Trust us, he’s just got to go.”

So now you go under the knife
And Henry will give up his life.
One Henry is great
but not seven or eight
…So goodbye, Henry, fuck you.

If all of you could either tweet something miscellaneously hilarious to @suminycricket over the next few days, or leave a link in the comments, then that would be awesomesauce.