Completed Fic of the Week: 9/3-9/9

September 04, 2010

The C Word by happymama
Reviewed by Kimpy0464

Rating: M
Genre: Romance/Hurt/Comfort
Characters: Edward/Bella 

 Summary: Settled into a life of perfection with the man of her dreams and a brand new baby, Bella is diagnosed with cancer. Rated M for swearing and potential moments of intimacy. Very short story.

In real life, I’m a pediatric ICU nurse. I’ve also worked at the Department of Health in the Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program. When I run across fics like The C Word, it never fails to make me stop and pause. I’m especially fond of stories that get medical situations right; The C Word is one of those stories.

I live on the other side of this story, treating children who have cancer. I’ve had friends who have had cancer. I myself had a scare with it recently, which required a biopsy. To say that this story had an impact upon me is almost too mild. It grabbed me, forcing me to pay attention to the other side of the equation—the human side. Behind every diagnosis is a person, and happymama forced me to look

The C Word is the story of Edward and Bella, and their infant daughter Renesmee. Their lives are happy and fulfilled after the birth of Ren; they had to work hard to even conceive her. Four months after she is born, however, their happy ever after comes to an abrupt halt—one day, while they’re having sex, Edward feels a lump near Bella’s nipple. Here’s how happymama describes the circumstance:

Four months later, during a rather intimate moment, Edward felt something odd.

"Stop," he whispered. "Stop for a minute."

His tone scared her, and Bella immediately ceased moving at all. She wasn't even sure she wanted to move to breathe.

"What's wrong?"

Her voice was nervous and scared, and there was a tinge of hurt behind it. Had she somehow hurt or disgusted him, she wondered.

Continuing their path, his fingers worked in a circle around her breast. The closer they got to her nipple, the harder it was for Bella to hold in the moan; his touches were so light, so tender and loving on her skin.

Noticing his furrowed brows framing a look of concentration, she repeated herself. "What's wrong, Edward?"

"There's a..." He searched for the words. He was a doctor, after all, he should be able to tell her this easily.
 "There's a small lump."

I can tell you from experience, it doesn’t matter how much you know about medicine; when it affects someone you love, your reaction is personal and unprofessional. It’s as if all your training goes out the window in a moment like that.

One of the constants in this story is Edward’s ardent love for Bella; happymama’s incarnation is classic Edward—fiercely protective, loyal, loving. It isn’t as though this fic is full of heavy—there are definitely moments of levity. When the chestnut brown hair that he loves so much falls out, she chuckles to herself that “At least I don’t have to pay for a wax.” It’s important to keep a sense of humor in the face of tragedy. You can either laugh or cry, and the laughter is better for you. Seriously, happymama just gets it:

When she was close enough, he explained. "I want nothing more than to touch you, sweetheart. I want to touch you, love you, remind you of how sexy you are, I promise." He placed a soft kiss on her forehead. "You're just not strong enough yet. I promise you, when we've kicked cancer's ass, I'm going to give you the best weekend of your life. You'll be begging me to stop."

They laughed together, for the first time in months, it felt like. It had been so long, too long.

The C Word is most definitely an indie fic—it has only 63 reviews, which is a complete and total shame. Granted, it isn’t a happy topic, but it does deliver a lovely HEA with one of the most satisfying lemons I’ve ever read, because it is so well deserved by these two. It’s an important story for everyone to read, because at some point in most of your lives, you or someone you love will be affected by cancer. Maybe not breast cancer per se, but cancer nonetheless. This story helps to prepare you for the journey many people face when their doctor utters the C word to them: Cancer. In fact, I’d like to make this rec a PSA of sorts—it should be required reading for every woman in the Fandom. Read it. You’ll ultimately be very glad you did.

Banner by JaimeArkin


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