Friday, November 22, 2013

On Cancer...

Cancer sucks.

Cancer is not something you ever want to become a part of your life, whether it affects you directly or someone you care deeply about.

My life has been a journey these past few years since Mrs. Smith was diagnosed.  In some ways it has made me better.  In some ways it has made me bitter.

I live with the constant possibility that the love of my life could be gone at any time.  I feel incredibly lucky that she is still in reasonably good health despite the cancer treatments, and despite the cancer cells that will always be in her body.

I also feel angry that this THING could easily take her from me.  Something microscopic.  Something I can't see, and something I am powerless to combat.  I can protect her against almost anything.  But not this.

It is not an easy thing to make me feel useless.  But cancer does it.

I find myself hoping for that miracle cure, and hoping it does not come after she's gone.

The disease has changed the way I feel about a lot of things. Some songs that used to not carry any significance for me will now cause me to tear up when I hear them. Some pictures that never held any specific symbolism for me "before cancer" now have a much deeper meaning.

It has also changed the way I deal with other people. I find that I have a lot less tolerance for stupidity than I used to. I know, I never really had a high tolerance for stupidity to begin with, but it's even slimmer now. I find myself holding my tongue less and speaking my mind more, often when I should just keep my mouth shut.

I would not wish cancer upon my worst enemy.

Cancer sucks!


Expatriate Owl said...

I had long wondered what type of person would make a career of treating cancer patients, what with how they handle the inevitable instances when a patient succumbs to the disease. And then, my then-fiancee (who is now my wife) informed me that she was interested in specializing in oncology.

Fast-forward almost 30 years: She graduated med school, did an oncology residency, found a staff position at a hospital, and she's still doing it. She recently did an annual follow-up exam of a patient she treated 20 years ago, who is still cancer-free (a relative term because there likely are still some dormant cancer cells in the patient's body -- which is the reason for the annual follow-up exams in the first place). This, says my wife, is what makes it all so rewarding, seeing that she can actually cure some cancer patients ("cure" being a relative term, of course).

But the flip side of it is when, despite my wife's best efforts, she is unable to save a patient. In such instances, she puts forth as a strong support for the patients' families.

And then, she comes home and vents upon me. And, in some of the more traumatic cases, she actually cries.

It takes a tough emotional constitution to be able to treat cancer patients!

To Officer and Mrs. Smith: Be strong!

Commchick said...

I am a cancer survivor, going on eight and a half years now. My significant other at the time was not supportive, but we have since divorced and the love of my life supports me constantly through the yearly check-ups. He was supportive of me as a friend before and I thank God for him daily. It does my heart good to hear of someone whose mate was there from the beginning and continues to be. God bless you both.