Does there come a point in a cancer patient’s life when they want to say the hell with it? Is there a time when the pain and suffering must stop even though the battle is not over?
When I first heard that I did indeed have breast cancer after hounding the doctors for over a year and a half, the one gigantic fear was that it had spread elsewhere.
Most of us know that if you have more then one area, more then one organ system involved, then the poison that you must take rises in toxicity. No two ways about it. With each added drug comes a different wave of torture for your body and your soul. Let’s not forget the emotional toll cancer inflicts on a person as well.
And the frequency of these horrible treatments increases as more systems are involved. The drugs must kill the cancer cells, the growth, but in the process they may and do kill the host, meaning us.
In my mind if the cancer in my body had spread to my other organs I had already decided that it would be morphine, marijuana, and margaritas for me.
You might think that I am being an ass. That I am being flippant but I am not. I will never forget the young man , maybe in his thirties, that came out of the treatment area while I was waiting for my radiation treatment. He looked like a zombie.
The thing about sitting around a treatment room waiting area is a lot of people and family members like to talk about their treatment, symptoms, and the hell they are going through. After all they have a captive audience who knows what the hell they are talking about. I found it upsetting and did not share my story. I know some would say that is one of their ways to deal with it, a sort of therapy. Good for them, just not my choice.
Well this young man came out of the treatment area with his head swathed in white gauze, walking with a slow shuffle, and could not even lift his head after getting his treatment to look around the room. They were treating his BRAIN, the most important organ in the body.
His hand gripped his wife’s arm, I assumed it was his wife, like a little kid. As she was checking out she stated for all to hear that they were now on their way to catch a flight to MD Anderson for a consult on another course of treatment.
Now I don’t want to take away from what ” they” had decided to do to fight his type of cancer but, I could not believe how awful he looked. This other man in the waiting area shared with us after they left that he had had liver cancer ” but” now it was in his brain. Just like that he was telling us this man’s history. I was sickened.
No one can choose for another what they should do if and when they are faced with the choice of fighting cancer, but really. What about our souls? What about the man this man use to be. Was he living a quality life? Watching him walking out of the waiting room clinging to his wife, shuffling across the carpet, and waiting for her to open the door because I assume he didn’t have the strength, fixed in my mind that I would never put myself through that. Never.
Often cancer patients push themselves through treatment because it is what the family wants them to do. After all ” you can’t just give up.” Many choose for themselves unknowing what is in store. It is that fear that makes it the hardest. The not knowing how much pain and suffering you are expected to endure. It is not a choice made easily. Sometimes I think it would be okay to say have some morphine, marijuana, and margaritas because it will be a really rough ride no matter which direction you choose.
I know what I suffered through. It was terrible. I am lucky I made it. And I was lucky that it hadn’t spread. So when I talk about cancer, treatment, aftercare, and other stuff it is because I know how hard it was. I know partly how hard it will be for others.
If I could make it easier for someone by telling them to take action sooner then I hope you can see that is what I am trying to do. Waiting to see if there is a change when you find a lump or bump is telling me ” let’s wait and see if it is cancer first.” Well I say don’t wait. Take action now. Maybe you will be lucky like I was and have only one area to treat.
So as I always say, have a great day today, you and I deserve it. Oh and let’s get busy checking those breast and that scrotum, those are the first steps in finding that evil demon.