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.

Heidi said...

Cancer changes everything. However, not all the changes are bad and you meet some incredible people. And if you are very lucky, like I was, you get the "if you have to get cancer, this is a good kind to get" kind and with surgery life goes on. But it's always different after that.

Best thoughts to you and your wife.