OK, cancer has plagued us as a society for quite a while now. Endless articles, studies, movies, etc., have been created to tell you the story of cancer. The one thing that all of those sources can't do for you: make it REAL for you. Until you've experienced the touch of cancer firsthand, you can't possibly understand that the disease not only destroys the body its infesting, but the emotional and psychological warfare it wages on the family leaves scars that never really fade.
Two years ago my mother in law died from liver & pancreatic cancer. She was in a tremendous amount of pain, but watching her slowly decay into a pale wisp of a person and eventually lose the ability to function in basically any way was far worse. Although I can still place myself in that room, on the day she died, of course I can only imagine the struggle she faced at a point of no return, when all hope finally was lost. My wife still struggles with unresolved issues about it. My father in law has faced the most tremendous sea change of his life; the rest of the family has splintered, my mother in law being the glue that held everyone together.
I write this not to rehash an old, painful memory; on the contrary, two people very close to me have been diagnosed with cancer and my heart is heavy for them and their families tonight. As a selfish human, I wonder if I would be courageous were I on the receiving end of the bad news... they seem to put on the brave face, say all the right things like, "we're going to beat this," and "I'll try every treatment and devote myself to getting healthy," but I know that inside they must be terrified. I know I would be.
I'll close my eyes and think of you both every night.
Both of the people I mentioned above have now passed away. The devastation was no better this time than the last, or the one before that.