My wife just had her last radiation treatment, yesterday. This has been a journey of some six months of bad news, Xrays, blood tests, chemo, and radiation therapy. The medical personnel was great.
When my wife left yesterday morning she was jubilant knowing this was an end and that there was a planned celebration with her Sisterhood that evening.
But, when she returned she was very emotional and teary-eyed.
As a man, I had no clue how in the world she could be crying, but as she explained she was so overwhelmed by so many emotions she could not handle them. (Most Guys are sort of dumb when a woman is crying as to what to do or say. Frustrating as Hell.)
She had survived, but she was forever changed!
That big C word will ruin anyone’s day when it first is thrown at them.
The doctor can supply you with all manner of statistics about this therapy applied to your specific Cancer, but when you first feel the impact, you likely will not hear anything else they say.
“You have Cancer!”
Gibberish follows as your mind is now flooded hormones driven by fear.
Any Cancer victim knows the journey is filled all manner of bad feelings, nausea, stomach upset, lack of appetite, various pains throughout the body, HAIRLOSS, and a general bad feeling like the Flu.
Chemo is Brutal! Radiation unpleasant but manageable.
I don’t care about the science or statistics behind it as it might as well be torture from the Middle Ages or Spanish Inquisition for the impact it has on people.
We all have known victims that have died, and those that survived.
It does not matter your gender, race, age, or financial resources. Cancer does not care that you are faithful churchgoer or the President of your PTA.
Cancer has one purpose; to kill you.
But there are those that live alone and will have to battle Cancer.
There are those that the Doctor said, “get your affairs in order, you will die in a short time.”
There are some very important things I learned in regards to my wife and her Cancer battle, that all of you can benefit from.
I believe most of us depend on a loving family to assist. But, all of the following can apply and make it easier in your battle.
Even if you are not a person of faith that prays, you have to believe from your nose to your toes that you will beat this thing. Giving up is not an option. Fight it till you have no more breath. (Except for the first few days and after she lost her hair, my wife never lost her will-do attitude. A man losing his hair, a nuisance. A woman losing her hair, damned near as bad an attitude changer as the Cancer call itself!)
I cannot tell you how valuable good friends are. No, not your football drinking buddies. They will likely not be there when you are throwing up or wash your face afterward. Truly good friends have to be cultivated through years, not sought at the last moment. They are not chosen because they smile at you. A good friend will show up during your Chemo to assist in any way they can. They might cook food for you, knowing you will not be able to yourself. In my wife’s situation, the Sisterhood was in competition to show up at her treatments, sit at home with her, cook food for her. We had offers of help more than there were hours in the days. She had good friends on both sides of the US that were always sending her notes or calling. (Certainly, our family went above and beyond.)
Perhaps you are friendly with your neighbors but only friendly.
Do not forget to be good to your neighbors, so that they will feel charitable towards you.
In our case, our Neighbors were trying to do anything to help us. We even had a second grader that felt a kind card would help my wife. “I hope you are feeling better after your Kimo.” Tell me that is not heartwarming. (We have great neighbors, you might not)
The bottom line is depending on your specific case of Cancer, Science and Statistics can be brought to bear to “kill Cancer before it kills you.”
In an ever-growing number of cases, people are surviving various forms, but the journey to survive is a horrible path.
So, what is missing from the science and statistics?
The numbers do not tell you is how important it is to have those other things, family, friends, good neighbors, faith, and the strength of will to fight Cancer as hard as it is fighting you.
In watching my wife, I could not help but wonder and feel sorry for those poor people in the world that do not have loving friends, family.
How horrible it must be to face this horrible diagnosis by yourself.
Don’t be alone, if you can help it.
Be good to others, you might need them one day.