People have asked over the years what it was like to live with someone who has cancer. I’m never quite sure what to tell them, but I try to be as honest as I can, while also extending as much hope as I can.
People see the person suffering from this terrible disease and they think of cancer as eating away at the victim. It’s true – it does do that.
But it doesn’t stop there.
Cancer, you see, eats away at everything in the house. It’s always present. And like a guest who won’t take a hint and leave, you often find yourself talking around it . . . even though you know it’s still there.
It takes away your quality family time. It eats away at your finances. It makes you change the way you live your life from day-to-day.
It undermines you as a parent, because your kids can see how fragile life is. And how quickly it can be taken away. The words “It’s going to be ok,” usually fall way short of what’s needed to restore confidence and hope in life.
Intimate times? You may as well forget it. You don’t feel like doing much of anything. You might try a dinner out together, but the cancer invites itself along.
There’s no real peace as you fight an enemy that you can never truly see, but you always know is there. Cancer doesn’t fight fair, and it’s hard to fight something that keeps hiding from you, ducking and moving and avoiding attempts to defeat it.
It devours your home life and your finances. It even invades your mind, and creeps into your thoughts throughout every waking moment. And often into your dreams as well.
Some day there will be a cure for this terrible disease.
But what can we do now? It’s such a helpless feeling to know a friend or loved one who has cancer. You want to help, but anything you can offer to do seems to fall so short of being helpful.
But it’s not.
If you know someone who has cancer, give them a call or drop them a card in the mail Or better yet, drop by to see them. You may feel awkward because you don’t know what to say.
But that’s ok. Remember, they probably don’t know what to say either.
And while it won’t cure the disease, it will go a long way in helping your friend feel better.