The "C" word, the Big C, cancer...it comes in many forms--more than I can name off the top of my head for sure. And I guess I have reached that point in my life where I notice cancer now, more than I did when I was younger. It seems I now know a fair number of people who are or were afflicted with cancer in some form.
My friends DR and BB, my SIL, my former pastor, a Blogger's family member just diagnosed, a guy from our church and my MIL, who just lost her second battle with cancer.
DR is the reason I willingly subject myself to a colonoscopy on a regular schedule--because his colon cancer went too far, and after attacking his liver has moved into his lungs. They found pre-cancerous polyps in me the first go-round, and removed them. But I will always be wary now, and get my gut checked, because eventually cancer will steal my friend from this earth, because he didn't get it checked in time.
Then there is my friend BB, who is a true rarity in this world. He is a 5yr+ male lung cancer survivor. He is also one heck of a cyclist and I can only wish I was half as fast as he, on twice the lung capacity!
My SIL (sister in law), fighting a battle with an unusual oral cancer. We like to joke with her about all the Chaw (smokeless tabacco) she must be using to have contracted Snuffers Cancer. (She doesn't chew or smoke at all.) But I see the pain it has caused her and the way it has affected her quality of life.
The young man BK, from our church who fought Non Hodgkins Lymphoma and won, only to die from a cold he caught while his immune system was still suppressed...
Our former pastor, now retired, who we recently learned has a form of leukemia. We haven't heard from them recently but last I heard they were waiting for him to get worse before starting treatment. I do not understand that.
And my mother in law...we lost her to cancer last month. It was not her first rodeo with the Big C. She'd beaten it once, way back in the 1980's. when treatments were not so refined. That was an aggressive soft tissue sarcoma, and the docs I think were quite surprised that she kicked cancer's ass! The cancer that stole her from us, was a different beast--unrelated to the original one they say.
I suppose in hindsight, I knew something was wrong back in September when we visited her. But I couldn't "see" it until after we got the call in November that she was in hospital, and it wasn't good news. Never one to complain, she bore her pain with a quiet dignity. She was able to be cared for at home, by family and hospice. No tubes or extreme measures, just peace and quiet, surrounded by those who loved her.
There's not a lot I can do personally in the big scheme of things called cancer. I guess the small things will have to suffice. I can donate a little cash to worthy research groups, and perhaps more importantly, I can show my support for those afflicted. Paul the Apostle perhaps said it best...
1 Corinthians 13:1-7 (NIV 1984)
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.