Thursday, January 3, 2008


Amanda and I have this joke. When one of us says something hurts, like a finger maybe, the other will say, "Well, you must have cancer." It's hilarious. But it's not true. Because I don't have cancer. (Amanda, I'm not so sure about. You might want to get that checked out.) And why don't I have cancer? Because my family did "hands-in".

Let me explain the power of the hands-in. You all know hands-in, right? You're on a volleyball team and you all put your hands in and shout "Go Team!" or "The Other Team has Pink Eye!" or something motivating like that. Well, someone in my family, probably Camille, decided we needed to do hands-in after family prayer. Some families hug, but the Knechts like to shout inspirational things and then slap each other on the butt. The hands-in works in two ways: first as a wish-maker, like a well only less deep. For example Casey could have a big test that day so we would do hands-in and say "GOOOOOOOOOD LUCK TO CASEY ON HIS TEST!" It was surprisingly affective which leads me to it's second purpose: a means to ward off bad mojo. Enter cancer, because it seemed like for a while there cancer was really popular and everyone seemed to be getting it, like Hummers. Every day it seemed like one of us was coming home with news that so-and-so had cancer. Sigh. So one night after family prayer someone said, "Hands-in, no cancer," and we all put our hands in and shouted, "NOOOOOOOO CANCER!!!" And not one of us has it! How's that for magic! And now whenever we hear that someone has cancer we take a few minutes and feel really bad and shake our heads and shed a tear or two and then say, "It's a good thing we did hands-in."
But, unfortunately, not everyone knows the power of the hands-in. Specifically, my best friend Cynde's husband Ryan. Mr. I Liked It So Much the First Time I Think I'll Go Back for Seconds. Two years ago Cynde and Ryan were married and when they came back from their honeymoon they found out that the growth on Ryan's jaw was cancerous and had to be removed. He went in for surgery and had it removed and then went through radiation. The End. Except for that little bit that they didn't get, which grew up and they had to remove on Monday. Since Cynde's parents weren't going to be in town I decided to drive out to Arizona to be with them, you know, for support and stuff.

I have documented in the past how I feel about driving to Arizona. But the drive was surprisingly easy this time around. Mostly because I'm very self-amusing. Seriously. I crack myself up. I can sing to myself for hours. And I have very fascinating conversations with either myself or Ruby St. Germaine, Fallen Woman and Alleged Sumo Assassin. This was my view the whole time. True story. I stuck my camera out the window and snapped and this is what I got. Bleak despair. So I just kept singing. Mostly Abba.
We checked Ryan in, let him crack a few jokes about his hospital gown and fancy surgery support hose and then set out our provisions and waited. We played a lot of Bananagrams and Simpsons Uno while we waited for the doctor to come out and give us the good news. The surgery went fine. Everything looks good. He probably won't have to have treatment and we can go see him in recovery. Hooray!

This is how happy we all were:

Once Ryan woke up and stopped throwing up we took him home, put him to bed and Cynde and I spent New Year's Eve partying like two old women. That is, we ate bean soup, took a walk around the block and came home and watched a French film. Ryan joined us around 11 and we banged on pots and pans at midnight. We are party animals.
Ryan and Cynde are both doing great and I left Tuesday morning with Abba in my heart and my thumb mic at the ready.


themayerfamily said...

I am serously going to do hand-ins. I didn't know their power. I thin, I'll start with "Noooo throwing up landon!" Hayden already yells "Hey!" in a very athoritative voice when he starts gagging.

Ms. Liz said...

Best. Best. Friend. Ever.

Amanda said...

I personally just love how cheerful you make a little bedpan look. Well done. It takes a very attractive and confident person to pull that off.
Okay, a note on talking to yourself. One day I was having a conversation with myself (one of the parents of a student) and John snuck into the kitchen and asked me what I was doing. I of course was just mouthing the conversation and felt a little embarassed, but not as embarassed as when he said 'well, that's a little scary' when I admitted that I was carrying on my own conversation. He claims he never does , but I'm not sure he's being completely honest.

Hannah said...

Oh fine. Your medical story is better than mine. I hope you're happy. But, I must say that my New Year's Eve featured playing tennis on the Wii with my Dad...and the French have nothing on the wii. Party on Rache! I'm glad your friends are doing well!