Thursday, April 3, 2008

Coping with CANCER

In the midst of cancer, one may suffer times of anxiety, depression and fear. You become anxious about the uncertainty of what is to come. You feel sorry for yourself. You may even suffer a bit of self pity. Then you certainly have the fear of death. The BIG C! This is where the stigma resides. Cancer.... disease that has no cure. Truth is, there are a lot of diseases and disorders that are not with in the means of a cure. Some bring death, some do not. I tell you of this for two reasons.

The first is a simple and short reason. Through the coarse of this blog, some have questioned why I do not seem to suffer from any of the above mentioned. Let me tell you, I do. On a "BAD DAY", I suffer with all of them and maybe some more not mentioned. I have been at the lowest of lows and have come to understand why DR. K has been employed to perform his services. Not that I condone these actions, but can understand the mindset of those afflicted. But here is the difference, I do not allow it to run my life. To allow such a thing would be allowing the cancer to control what is to be. I am in control and shall continue to be so. I tell it what I am going to allow! I say when the fight is over! Oh I may have plenty of battles, but I shall win the war! God has given each of us a wonderful gift. A gift we all to often take for granted. The gift of free will. It is this free will that allows us to control either in full or part what is to be. It is this will I utilize to control the final outcome.

The second is brought about by a recent life experience. My grandma of 95 years recently passed away. She had a great full life packed with kindness, adventure, good will and meaning. Though many will accuse me of being partial, she truly was the definition of what a perfect example of a human being should be. She lived her life by helping others. She never had a bad word to say about anyone. No matter how they may have been, she always had a kind word. The Justice Department could have modeled her disciplinary measures. Her actions which were always swift, fair and just. If you got in trouble by Grandma, she never told your parents. She did not believe in double jeopardy, nor did she try to open your case again after it was lost due to a lack of evidence. I think her secret was using the very definition of the word discipline. The root word is disciple which means to teach. She taught right from wrong rather than just to punish. I could go on for pages and pages about how much my grandma meant to me. I am sure that each of the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, friends and other family members could do the same. She touch lives with no matter whom she came in contact with.

Here is the final point. Even through all the horrible things that occur with cancer, life continues. People pass on. Your children continue to need you. They continue to need your praise and share your life experiences. Your family members and friends continue to be a part of your life and want you to be a valid part of their life. There is a fantastic life going on all around you. It is ok to feel all the feelings you have. It is natural and is actually part of the healing process. But do not allow yourself to fall too far beneath the epidemy of your cancer to disallow what can be so wonderful and fantastic. As with anything else in life you must find your balance and use your free will to endure and embrace the challenges of life so that it does not pass you by.


debbie said...

I could not have said it any better!! Such wonderful pure words for a wonderful pure woman that touched everyone's heart.

Wendy S. Harpham, MD said...

Hi John,
As I came to understand through years of caring for my patients and then years of being a patient, it matters less what thoughts and feelings you have than what you do with them.

Like you, I found great peace in the realization that "life goes on" no matter what is happening with me. That life will go on after I die.

And it is precisely because tomorrow is uncertain that embracing and celebrating today makes all the sense in the world.
With hope, Wendy

Dr. Swill said...

Hello John,

I too have battled tongue cancer. Stay strong and keep a positive attitude. A year ago I began my ordeal. Now mostly over I feel I have won.

If you wish to read story you'll find it here:

Thnk you for writing and know you're not alone

Brian Walin