I Hate Cancer


Cross Cancer Institute, Edmonton, Canada
Cross Cancer Institute, Edmonton, Canada

There many things or even places in this world that I always say “I hate”.  “I hate Calgary”.  I don’t really hate Calgary or Calgarians.  It’s a fun city.  It’s near the mountains.  It’s a movin’ and groovin’ city.  I have friends and family in Calgary…that I really like.  “I hate losing”.  Nobody likes losing but let’s face it you learn more from losing than you do winning.  You learn where you went wrong and can easily point out what they did right.  I don’t “like” losing.  “I hate liver”….ya, I really hate liver.  Blecch.

And I hate Cancer.

Cancer is such a rotten disease.  It comes in a zillion different forms.  It always does whatever you don’t expect it to do.  If it’s supposed to stay in one place…it moves.  It keeps moving.  If it’s supposed to grow, it will sometimes shrink and go away…without explanation.  Modern medicine has provided some treatments that make patients feel better and sometimes even cure them.  Just not everyone.   So why do I hate Cancer?  I don’t have it.  I have never had it.  What’s the deal?

Too many people who I know have had it.  Testicular.  Lung.  Ovarian.  Breast.  Bladder.  Prostate.  And it just spreads if you don’t discover it soon enough.  I know one person it started as a growth on her kidney, so they took the kidney out.  Then they discovered it had released spores(?) on to her lungs.  20 spores.  Then it spread to her other kidney and finally her liver.

She is expected to leave this world in the next 24 to 48 hours.

An aggressive clinical trial was suggested but the cancer did not retreat.  In fact she was given 6 months to live, three weeks ago.  The doctor said he has never seen such a fast-moving, aggressive cancer.

I hate Cancer.

So what’s the ripple effect?  You must be thinking of, as I was,  her two sons.  A 17-year-old and a 12-year-old.  Great boys thanks to her parenting.  A single mom for the past 11 and a half years (deadbeat dad – totally out of the picture –  jerk) she made them her focus.  Never a complaint.  Never did they want for anything that they really needed, and most importantly, they were a family.  House a little messy?  She’d rather play with the kids.  Now they won’t have a mom after not having a dad.  So who do they go to?  Her sister has agreed to take them in.  Now that family are affected as they were about to enjoy retirement.  Not anymore. (Old joke: Want to make God laugh?  Make plans!)

She is loved.

Thankfully, by the smallest of margins, there is a small, tee-nee tiny silver lining: Many people have stepped up to show their love.  Just today, more than ten people from her work showed up to visit; her extended Knights of Columbus Hockey family has provided food, new house fixtures, rides, support, shoulders to cry on, DQ Blizzards, all the things she could not do for herself and her family, they did.  We did.  It was our privilege.  We are also committed to ensuring those boys know they are loved, and will always be loved.

For Connie.  For Doug.  For Uncle Ed.  For everyone.

I Hate Cancer.

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