Monday, August 18, 2008

Where is the love in Cancer?

A good friend of mine and fellow blogger recently wrote an article about love, sex and cancer. She is disturbed by the multitude of women who simply have a slimmer chance at love than men. She has heard story after story of women whose husbands have walked out, sometimes leaving them with young children, when they have cancer. Or waited till they finished treatment, and then walked out. This can happen to men as well, though is not as likely says Jean. I am sure this is true for the majority. You take the pigs who want to feel young by being with a much younger woman, and the fact that in the 40-50 age group, there are more women than men. Makes Jean have a valid point. So where is the love when you mix cancer into the picture?

I think, when it comes to someone having cancer, the end result remains constant. Cancer is a very hard thing to have to deal with. Whether you are a patient or a caregiver, each have their own set of problems and hardships. Both can put a tremendous strain on ones self.

Can love ;

1. Stand the test of time during these hardships?

2. Find it way into you life when trying to find that special someone?

Like life, each situation bares it's own set of outcomes. Those outcomes depend on the individuals that are dealing with the particular situation. Each one of us may handle things in a completely different manner. Love can withstand the hardships that are thrown at us no matter what we have to deal with. The question your love the kind that is strong enough to handle such things. It must be strong and steadfast to make it through. You and your spouse must be strong individuals as well. But let one weak link disturb that...and POW! You have a problem.

I belive that love can find a way into your life with or without cancer. It will not be easy, it may take longer, but it IS possible. My problem is that I see what I see in the mirror every day. I am not what I used to be. I feel the pain from the radiation side affects, a constant reminder of the diagnosis 8 months ago. Other people only see me for whom I am, NOT what I have. Even though I struggle with this fact, I know that it remains true. This is one of the many things that help me make it through the rougher times.

Love not only remains in the hearts of the opposite sex. It remains steadfast if the hearts of family. Your children, your Mother or Father. It remains with your Aunts and Uncles, Grandparents and with your close friends. Once having a life altering experience, you can have a change of attitude. It is not always for the better either. It happens to the best of us. It seems to be part of the healing process. We do not like it, but most of all of us go through it. Cool thing is, family is there for you when you are ready to come back to a normal reality. Though your family may be upset with you from time to time, they still care.

So can love be a part of cancer and can love survive cancer? Damn straight it can. Sometimes you just have to open the eyes in order to see it. Sometimes you just have to allow it to happen.
Heck, there is love all around if you can see it. The whole earth was built with love and admiration for all of mankind. Take the time to see the love, when the leaves in the trees blow,
the fish jump from the lake or you make that first snow angel. It is there all around you.

No matter whom we may share our lives with, we all deserve to be happy in order to have that self fulfillment in life. We all deserve to have and experience love. I do every day. You just have to see it to feel it.

Till next time,



Jeanne said...

John--this is beautiful. And, actually, you and I are in agreement. I haven't had a partner during the 10 years I've lived with cancer, but I have been OK with that because I've had my sons and my good friends, and some relatives, who all love me. The love of these people has never wavered, and it keeps me going.

I wouldn't say I'm "disturbed" about the number of women with cancer who can't find a partner, I'm just pointing out that this is what I see and what women write and tell me.

But, as I said, you and I are in agreement about where to find love when you need it. And I hope that you settle into your new living arrangement, and--if you want one--a new partner comes along who can see you through all the ups and downs of life with cancer. Because you certainly deserve that.


Anonymous said...

This is an interesting column which -- given my circumstances as a woman and a caregiver -- I read with a great deal of interest. I can see that the person who chooses to leave a relationship (male or female) when a partner or spouse becomes ill may be seen as uncaring and may be labelled and despicable. Yet in my case, I decided to stay with my partner upon learning of his diagnosis even though we had decided a short time before to separate. I could not bear to see him go through this challenge alone. However, it has taken a high personal toll on me. I don't kid myself, though. He is the one with cancer and must live with it for the rest of his life. At some point, though, it comes down to survival for both. I can see a time -- hopefully when he is well again -- that I will have to leave and find my own way. I will feel good that I was there and able to help his recovery in some way. I attended all the doctor's appointments and almost every radiation and follow up appointment and carefully noted every piece of advice and ensured it was heeded. Will this "commitment" and support be appreciated or acknowledged, I am not so sure. It may all be lost in the bitterness of a relationship ending. What I wanted to say, though, is that those who choose to leave at some point after a partner is diagnosed with cancer are not always bad people. There were many issues within the relationship and reasons why we chose to separate earlier and those remain. A life threatening diagnosis is a wake-up call to both and can either pull a couple together or not. Everyone should remember that there is always two sides to consider.

John said...

Point well taken! I do not view my girl frined of six years a bad person at all. We are still very good friends and see each other a lot.