When Green Day’s on the Radio

by Valarie Kinney

Often, people celebrate anniversaries with dinner out, champagne, maybe a dozen roses.

Today I am trudging through a different sort of anniversary, and it’s hard.

Early in the spring three years ago, my sister complained of shoulder pain. It was in her shoulder blade, she said. Kept her up at night. She went to our doctor, who thought it likely my sister had been a waitress too long. “You’re pushing fifty, Charlotte,” she said, “you’ve been doing this over thirty years. You might need to consider a job change.” But the pain continued and the anti-inflammatories didn’t help, so my sister went back a week or so later. The doctor ordered an x-ray. The radiologist noted something, some sort of mass, in her left lung. Suddenly, there was a flurry of appointments, and in a very short time, we knew there was a tumor in her lung, the size of a grapefruit. It had already eaten through three ribs and part of her spine.

Continue reading When Green Day’s on the Radio

I Don’t Want to be Disabled but I Am

The following piece is a 557 Block Exclusive by Sarah Fader, published by the Editor at Diversability.TV.

I don’t want to be disabled but I am. I have multiple disabilities. I don’t even know if I like the word disability. Dis-ability – it’s so negative. In the 1990s when I was growing up, you insulted another person by “dissing” them. When I hear the word disability, I feel that I’m being dissed by society. You are not enough, you are weak, you are wrong, you are broken in some fundamental way. You are fucked up.  You’re not enough, not normal, not a real person because you have nothing left to give.

Continue reading I Don’t Want to be Disabled but I Am

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