No Joke

I lie on the hard surface of the table, arms placed awkwardly above my head. A voice piped into the room tells me to take a deep breath and hold. As I do this, I smile inside, because I remember it’s April 1st. I can’t actually smile because I have my mouth around a strange breathing apparatus that resembles a snorkel. Surely this has to be one, big prank. 

April Fool’s Day is one of my favorite days of the year. I love a good prank, and revel in whatever evil scheme I can come up with to really mess with people. 

A couple years ago, I had my artist daughter draw particularly bad portraits of her and her brother from when they were little. I then told my son that I was having the drawings tattooed onto my chest, above each breast. Or maybe I would have them inked on each thigh. It was fun witnessing his teenage mind trying to reconcile why his mother would want such awful depictions of her children permanently emblazoned on her body. 

It actually takes a good artist to do bad art on purpose. Props to my daughter.

The technician tells me to breathe normally. I feel like I am on a spaceship in a weird sci-fi movie. I occupy my brain with thoughts with some of my best work.

One year, April Fool’s Day was on Easter. I put together an Easter basket for my son, filled with goodies. What he didn’t know was I had verrrrry carefully cut off a part of the hollow chocolate bunny, filled it with Sriracha hot sauce, heated the chocolate pieces and melted them back together, and placed it back in the packaging. The shape his face made when he bit into that bunny was worth every second I put into that prank. Let’s just say he made good pals with the garbage can very quickly.

Sriracha bunny

“Take another deep breath, and hold”. 

A few years ago, my husband Steve received a small settlement due to a work-place injury. Steve’s mom had texted to see how we were doing. We sent her a photo of us, in sunglasses, telling her we were enjoying our stay in Hawaii. She was shocked by the last-minute trip, and most likely appalled at our irresponsible financial choices, considering the money was intended to make up for lost wages. I told her to look closely at the photo…and to maybe look at a calendar. 

Pine trees in Hawaii?? Nope. Just our back yard

“You are doing great, we are almost done” says the tech as I stay in my April Fool’s Day dreamstate.

One year, when my son was in grade school, I brought cupcakes to his class to celebrate his birthday, which is only a few days after April Fool’s Day. Clearing it with the teacher, I gathered the kids in a circle, and explained that I needed to share something with the birthday boy. Having the rapt attention of these 4th graders, I then told a story about how that very morning, I was reminiscing back to the day he was born. I happened to be looking at his birth certificate, and was shocked to find that after all these years, I was wrong about his age. As he is looking at me in horror, I am telling him in front of all his classmates that he was actually turning 9, not 10, like we thought. 

“One more deep breath…”

I congratulate myself on some of my epic April Fool’s Day antics, but am also a bit dispirited that I couldn’t manage any such shenanigans today. I have to remind myself to ‘read the room’ so-to-speak. It seems pretty evident that pulling a prank today as the world grapples with a pandemic is just not cool.

Plus, to be honest, dealing with breast cancer since my diagnosis last July, and everything that goes with it, I’m not sure I had it in me this year.

I figure I have a year to come up with a brilliant scheme for next time. 

“Okay, we are all done”.

The technician comes back into the room and helps me sit up. I have successfully completed the first of 34 daily radiation treatments. 

First day of radiation – no joke!

6 thoughts on “No Joke

  1. deanna221

    The first day of radiation picture shows me you are doing great. Love and miss hearing you Marina! Stay safe in this tough time so we all can hear your traffic reports again. PLEASE know that you have MANY people that LOVE you!!!!


  2. Joanna K Haeck

    Wow – 34 DAILY treatments?? Yarg! I love the way you walked us all through your process today. I hope you have many more delicious memories to keep you company as you go through this next salvo with cancer. Your courage is admirable. The pranks? …. uh, let’s just say, I’ve never been a fan of April Fool’s Day. But, they were clever, for sure! Gotta give you that – plus a lot more. Keep on keepin’ on, Marina! XO


  3. Mary Gezon

    Good luck, good wishes and positive energy sent your way! You should see how long my hair is now it’s probably 3 inches, but looks really weird 😂


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