XXXXXX

Sitting downstairs in the basement of the Taylor house, Tim and Jill were sitting on the bed of their fourteen year old middle son Randy playing a game of scrabble in order to try to take all of their minds off the phone call they were all waiting for. When Tim had brought Randy back to the house from the arcade he had told his wife that Randy knew that he might have cancer, making her instantly feel guilty about keeping it from him. They then decided to stay around him until the call came and pulled out board games to play in order to try to keep his mind off things.

While the two of them continued to sit on the bed, Randy was starting to slightly pace back and forth.

"Man, its five-fifteen when are they going to call?" He finally asked.

"I'm sure they're going to call any minute." Jill tried to assure. "Oh come on, honey, play. Just play."

Randy nodded and spelled out the word Thrill. She smiled and then took her turn.

"Good. Okay, I've got one. Lacks."

After spelling out the word, Tim wrote down her score.

"Twelve."

"That's fifteen." She argued.

"It gave me an opening, honey. Read 'em and weep. Exlacks."

After spelling the word out he looked up to see his wife and son looking at him as if he were exceeding stupid.

"What?"

"Dad, first off that's a brand name." Randy responded.

"And you didn't spell it correctly." Jill added.

"You're telling me there's no 'X'"?

Before either one of them could answer, the phone then rang. They all looked at each other in silence for a moment before Jill pressed the button and put the phone up to her ear.

"Hello?"

Tim and Randy both stared at her.

"Oh, Al." Jill sighed before taking a deep breath. "Look, Tim and I are fine, please don't call here ever again."

She then hung up the phone and looked at her husband.

"What is wrong with that man, where did he get this insane idea about me and milkman?"

"Spends too much time with his mother." Tim answered, not bothering to tell her that it was him had told Al that lie because he didn't want him to know about his family's situation.

The phone rang again as Jill rolled her eyes as she sighed in frustration before picking up the phone.

"Al-"

"Tell him he's fired."

"Please don't...oh, hi Dr. Kauffman."

Tim and Randy then stared at her as she continued to listen to the doctor talk on the other end as Tim put his hand on his sons shoulder. After a long couple of seconds went by, Jill's brows then furrowed for a moment before slowly hanging up the phone and looking at them.

"What is it?" Randy asked.

"She wants us to come down to her office."

"Why?"

"I...I don't know, she didn't say."

Tim and Jill stared at each other, both now looked extremely worried.

"Well...okay." Tim finally said. "Let's go."

The three of them then walked upstairs and headed straight to the garage, getting inside the car. The whole drive there, Jill was horrified but managed to keep herself together in order not to upset her son. They were going to get bad news…she knew it. If it was nothing the doctor would have just told her that on the phone, why else would Dr. Kauffman want them to come down to the office?

Once they reached the building, they exited the car and headed to the door. Randy said something but Jill was in such a state that she really didn't even hear him and Tim responded as he opened the door for the two of them.

They walked into the office and sat down in the chairs in front of the desk. About a minute later, Dr. Kauffman walked in and greeted the family.

"Hello, Jill, Randy." She smiled. "Tim, how's the nose?"

She was referring to an incident on Tool Time where Tim had accidently smacked himself in the face with a wooden board.

"Oh, all better." He assured.

"Good."

She then took a seat and decided to get straight to the point.

"I'm sorry for making you all drive down here but I felt like this was news that you needed to hear in person, not over the phone."

Jill felt her heart rate quicken as Dr. Kauffman took a deep breath, she hated this part of her job.

"After looking over the results from the blood tests, it does look like the lump in Randy's throat is malignant."

Jill slowly put her hand over her mouth as Tim swallowed the lump in his throat, his mouth now slightly opened. Randy just stared at her, his jaw firm but his blue eyes were wide as the color drained from his face. Dr. Kauffman bit her bottom lip slightly as she stared at the teenager with complete sympathy before attempting to give the family some good news.

"The good news is, Randy has papillary thyroid cancer and it has a ninety-seven percent cure rate. I believe that after a few weeks, Randy, you will be cancer free."

Tim put his hand on Randy's shoulder as Jill's eyes began to water.

"What's going to happen next?" He asked.

"We are going to have to perform surgery on Monday morning to remove the lump. After the lump is removed and Randy has recovered, he will undergo radioactive iodine treatment. This is very simple, it consists of taking a single pill in a dose that has been calculated just for him. Randy will need to avoid contact with others for a couple of days so that they are not exposed to the radioactive materials."

Randy took all this in, not reacting at all. He didn't cry, speak, or even move as he just stared down at his hands.

"The bottom line is that this is one of the most curable cancers." Dr. Kauffman assured again. "I believe that after the treatment, the cancer will be gone."

By the time they got out of the office, the tears in Jill's eyes finally fell which she quickly brushed away so Randy didn't see her crying. She didn't want him to be any more upset than he already was.

"Randy?" Tim asked, trying to hold himself together as well. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah." Randy responded in a low voice. "I'm okay."

"Let's go home." Jill then spoke. "Let's just go home."

Tim nodded as he put a hand on his son's shoulder and led him out of the building back to the car, feeling as if he had been punched in the stomach. Just as Randy opened the door to the backseat and got in, and overwhelming sense of guilt came over him, remembering what he had told Randy back at the arcade.

He told him he didn't have cancer, he assured him. But he was wrong, Randy did have cancer and would have to fight to get better, with the rest of them having to do their best in helping him in any way they could.