Tag Archive: tumor

A close friend of ours was recently diagnosed with cancer.  She’s a farmer’s wife who has always been good to us and treated us like family.  She’s a second mother to me and the news hit with a ferocity unmatched by my own diagnosis.  I say that because, as with most things in life, we know what we can handle, but when the same infliction is paired with someone else, the doubt we shelved on our own behalf is more easily recovered.  

And then there’s an anger that resides in the memory of what it was like to survive cancer.  The horror of it, the fear that will emerge and the knowledge you can’t fight it for them.  At the same time, the experience of cancer can draw out strengths we didn’t know we had and it’s a comfort to know our friend will experience, in her hardest battle, a courage that everything else will, eventually, surrender to.  

When you are diagnosed, your battle isn’t to fight the disease, but to fight to remain in the moment; to stave off the need to know what lies ahead, to find solace supplied by each breath unaware, as we all are, whether ill or healthy, of what future we’ll meet around the next corner.  That is primary.

Secondary is our need to survive by whatever means we find acceptable.  And for those co-survivors, there are no sidelines.  It’s our duty to our loved ones that helps us focus on the here and now and survive alongside them.  We find our own courage – a word that reflects a strength that does not come from muscle or brawn, but from the heart.  And again, as I discovered emerging from my own illness, we find ourselves feeling fortunate having come to some understanding that we are all in this together.  And that is something cancer will never destroy.

The ladies

The ladies took me out last night for a game of pool down the road.  It was a nice change of pace.  It’s good to have friends who know just when to lift you up.  I’ve been lucky with that.  Erick has been great too – very understanding.  Life is good and we need to take the time to be grateful occasionally – not just on the holiday.

Kate is doing well – she has a long climb ahead, but she’s still with us and strong as ever.  I’m so moved by her motivation.  She’s a tough gal and I can see her climbing mountains in the future just to spite Melvin, her tumor.  

It helps to give tumors silly names.  They’re silly bastard cells that make life difficult.  And in most cases, they wreak terribly havoc on their way out.  At the same time, the scars left behind remind us of how strong we were and how much strength lies just beneath the surface.  Kate is discovering this now and it’s a beautiful transition to see unfolding within her.

My how strong my friends have been not only in their own lives, but in helping others.  These are women who have conquered fear, annihilated inhibition, and lived to inspire others.  I owe them my sanity, my respect and admiration.