The media tells us we’re fighting simultaneous wars on drugs, terror, illegal gun traffic, and a host of other serious problems.
But, there’s a different war happening all around us and we all seem to have been drafted–the war against cancer.
It’s a disease with no logic, little-no patterns, and no remorse. Much like the vampires in Anne Rice’s books, it kills with no indiscretion and no account.
Also, there’s no cure. Treatments–yes. Cure–not so much.
Close to five years ago, my Dad became an armed soldier in this war. What began as a routine appendicitis surgery turned into a four-hour malignant tumor removal procedure. My Dad would not learn about the diagnosis until he woke up in a hospital bed.
In the time since, he has had no symptoms. He’s gone for CT scans every few months and the doctors have seen little growth in what remains of the tumors from that initial surgery.
Yesterday, my Dad ate his breakfast and then drove himself to the ER. One of the tumors still nesting in his abdomen had decided to push on the wall of his stomach, which resulted in a weird sore near his belly button. It could be any number of things, but he is awaiting a biopsy as of this post.
The war on cancer changes you. It changes your family. It never ends.
I have friends battling it. I have friends in remission. I have friends who have children fighting it. It doesn’t stop.
I don’t have a good answer. We deal with this, in some shape or form, every day. At best, you can be surrounded by a strong support network and have top-notch insurance. At worst, you go into debt that makes student loans seem like a minor pittance.
Hug your family. Hug your friends. Remember, we’re all in this together.