I cannot help it but every time I hear about someone who has died from cancer, it takes a toll on my spirit and knocks me down a notch. I hurt for the person, for their family and their friends. I also hurt deeply for myself, because I know that I too may not survive cancer.
Despite cancer always being present in my consciousness, I mostly live each day as if I am invulnerable. I live each day with an outlook of promise and hope for survival. But, I am very aware that each day people do die from this disease. I also cannot escape my belief that many of the people who have died from cancer must also have shared the same outlook at some point during their journey. It is good that we are able to have this outlook of promise and hope because without it we would not be able to get out of bed and live our life.
However, I also know that often something happens, treatment fails, tearing away our hope as well as our future. It too will happen to my family, my friends, and me – that is what scares me.
Joel T Nowak MA, MSW
You express my feelings entirely. It is not only deaths from cancer that take me down a notch, but the death of friends or other acquaintances from other circumstances.
Facing our own mortality creates a bond with other cancer survivors, a bond that is broken by their loss.
I deeply understand the pain that cancer causes our emotions.
Chemo tomorrow. As my treatment goes on, I sense that something must change soon. I will face that when the time comes.
I, too have advanced disease now currently under control. Yes, I can’t help but think about the likelihood of progression of my cancer, the suffering and my own death. On the other hand, all of us will lose our health and life. No one knows when their health will fail or when their life will end. In addition, when I begin feeling sorry for myself, I remind myself of the great life I have already had. I remind myself of those who have suffered with poor health or disability their entire life. I have a friend with cerebral palsy. It takes him two hours to get out of bed, cleaned and dressed for the day. He is confined to an electric wheelchair. He is always in a great mood. I recently spoke with a gentleman who fell asleep while driving and hit a utility pole killing his wife instantly. The accident occurred 20 years ago and he has never recovered emotionally. There is suffering everywhere…a fact of life….but, prostate cancer is NOT the worst thing that can happen to you. Continue to be brave, enjoy each and every day, thank God every morning when you wake. Do not allow this disease to destroy your spirit.