I have random thoughts – who doesn’t. Lately a lot of my time has been spent trying to get Cancer back to the forefront of consciousness and get us back on the collective road for a cure. Its long overdue. Think about it – I am almost 50. Cancer was a horrible disease that killed people when I was born, and it still is. Why? We put a man on the moon in the last 50 years. We have the internet. We have dvd’s – oh, wait, they are being replaced by blu-ray. We have seen cassette tapes come and go. We have seen 8 track tapes come and go. We have seen the demise of the vinyl LP (I hear it is returning, but I’m not holding my breath). We have cable television, home satellite systems. Our cars have computers in them. Our cars can sync with our smart phones, which have programs in them that will talk to us! We have GPS systems, taking all the fun out of spilling ketchup on a map. We have hundreds of channels, with everything from anything we could possibly want to buy, to childrens shows, to movies, to sports. We know immediately when some catastrophe befalls people in a country 8,000 miles away. But we continually allow our fellow man to suffer the indignities that are part and parcel of a cancer patients life. The uncertainty – the pain, and for the terminal cancer patient, the knowing what the “end” entails. Learning to live day in and day out with friends and family cutting you out of their life because they can’t handle the stress of your illness – like you wouldn’t cut the cancer out of your life in a heartbeat if you could! The job loss, the independence loss when the treatment, the disease, or both require you need help for the simplest daily tasks. The worst losses – the loss of income, the loss of insurance, the loss of the ability to take care of your family, the loss of your home, your car – damn near your sanity. But for those who gently lift you up – literally or figuratively. The one who make it a point to ensure you have a roof over your head, clothing, a way to get to the doctor, a way to fund treatment.
Then there are those who are supposed to help. Yep, the government agencies, big and small, who have programs in place to “help”. Yes, they do help. After they make you feel like a third class citizen begging on a street corner. After they investigate everything – what you own, what you used to own, who you owe money to, how many deposits in your bank account, how much you pay for your utilities, how many people live in your house, almost down to how many hairs are on the back of your hand. They make you feel like you are taking food out of the mouths of starving children. If you are one of the lucky ones, who actually get approved for help, then there is the constant “reports”. What was your income last month? Did someone else help you pay your bills? Has your condition improved or worsened? All of this in amongst trying to make sense out of drugs that have names that use every letter in the alphabet (some twice), trying to live with side effects that would fell a normal human. You see, I am convinced that anyone who gets cancer in any form is superhuman. They have to be. Because what I have listed here is just a drop in the bucket. There are so many more things. Little things.
Consider the colon cancer patient. Have you every stopped to think that because of their illness, potentially every bite of food they take can make them sick? Every sip of water? What, you didn’t KNOW?
Consider the worst cancer patient – the child. They have no concept of the reason they get the common cold – and now they are spending days, weeks, months in hospitals, seeing the love and concern in Mommy and Daddy’s eyes, and seeing the tears, and hurting so bad yet nothing helps, and for the very young, they can’t even articulate the pain. What, you didn’t KNOW???
Consider the skin cancer patient – for whom the simple act of mowing the grass could cause another cancer, which just might be the one they don’t catch in time. Might just be the one that spreads. What, you didn’t KNOW?
Consider the elderly cancer patient, with children, grandchildren, maybe even great grandchildren. They have seen so much in their 70, 80, 90 years of life – many friends and loved ones who suffered with this disease, who died. Many, many times, yet nothing prepared them for this. Their old age was to be peaceful, enjoyable – not like this. Not pain, drugs, sickness. What, you didn’t KNOW???
Consider the terminal cancer patient, the one with children who will graduate without them, will marry without them, will grow to adulthood without them. Who have to mentally imagine these life events, knowing they will not be there. Who agonize day in and day out, not only with the horrendous pain of cancer, but with the astronomical pain of knowing the end is near, and there isn’t anything they can do to stop their spouse, their children’s pain. What, you didn’t KNOW?????
Consider the breast cancer patient, scared to death that her husband won’t love her anymore without her breast. Scared to death that its not just the breast. Facing life changes no one should ever have to consider. What, you didn’t KNOW?????
Consider all the literally hundreds of types of cancer there are, and all the problems they cause, lives they change, lives they end. Consider the gaping holes in the lives of those who loved them, who lived with them, who had to helplessly stand by and watch in horror. What, you didn’t KNOW???
Considerations. Like random thoughts, something all of us have. I challenge you – every one of you who read my words – consider what you can do to make the cure for this abomination one step closer. If you can volunteer, if you can donate, if you can pray with someone – whatever. Please. Your fellow man hurts – and you can make that hurt more bearable. If enough of us try – if enough of us speak out – we can END THIS!
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