Cancer, the bad C word no one likes to utter, has taken hold of too many lives. It is a dreaded diagnosis of symptoms that venture into the doctor’s office and end up in surgery. Its ignored effects overtime only yield to the most gruesome and dire adventures of a person’s life, expecting the worst, but hoping for the best. It is a name the well schooled medical people are well familiar with and feel confident to treat. The victim of the disease has a whole other outlook on the escapade, as their very life has been threatened and disrupted by this diagnosis that may gain strength shortly after discovered.
Cancer has claimed more than enough lives through the entwining fabric of mutated cells, bleeding membranes and pain that racks the joints and bones. Losing hair or not becomes a staple of expected outcomes through treatments and cure-all reliefs, benefits and signed consent forms. The victim has no choice than to comply.
After multiple stories of success, the patient with the dire cancer diagnosis is set up with doctors and nurses specializing in their care. They go through the proper tests and procedures, getting good blood counts, weighing in at the right poundage and following dietician restrictions. They have done their work to adhere to medical procedure and policy and their insurance is in good standing. What could go wrong? All the ifs, ands, buts have been put into place and the next steps are just a matter of time.
The world is ready, the medics have seen it all before, the friends are ready with meals and prayers. The cancer diagnosis will not win this battle, or even come close. Failure is not an option, as good doctors take their post and scrub up for surgery. Nurses are standing by with hands of hope and towels of joy filled wishes. It is an almost festive site, as the quest for unwanted tumors are removed.
Dealing with the threat of cancer involves the spirit, the emotion and the will to live. Relying on electronics, medicine and the skill of another human takes great faith beyond the victim who ultimately endures all entrancing thoughts of a victory or the demise of a person that had more to give. Barring all ill effects, the patient will survive surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Recovery depends on ongoing care, interest and positive attitudes.
Cancer is a downbeat of society at its best. It takes the young at unexpected times and the mid-life contributors in a way that unearths the ones that stay grounded. It is a most unwelcome entry into a life that is going well and has nothing to lose according to bank statements and friends. It has no barriers and strikes the most unsuspecting of the pack with its venom and vice.
Cancer promotes victory among its survivors and gains strength in outreach programs and early detecting. It is all well and good, but not a safety guard against the turmoil and trials that some endure. Not everyone is a winner in the battle against cancer. It can be a life sentence or a platform for hoping against odds. Much hope is still available and has been shown through breakthrough cases, but reality of the dire diagnosis may or may not provide strength to endure and carry on.
Editorial by: Roanne H. FitzGibbon