Cancer – the monster that never sleeps

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.

But one thing I don’t think people realize about living with cancer (and I would imagine it’s the same with any terminal illness) is that it never sleeps. And it ‘s always hungry. hope

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.


  4 comments for “Cancer – the monster that never sleeps

  1. April 14, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    Cancer is evil as far as I am concerned your description couldn’t be truer and it’s scary to be reminded of it. I think if anyone knows someone who is ill or struggling do the same . Ring them, send a card. Offer help do something we as humans need to support each other more x

    • April 15, 2014 at 10:44 am

      Yes, it’s a terrible disease. And it seems like more and more people are affected by it. I pray that someday soon we’ll find a cure for it.

  2. Cathy Reese
    April 7, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    Mark while reading this, I felt like you were directly talking to me. Cancer is a beast with no conscious , morals or social status. Whoever thinks it will never happen to them are fools to believe it can’t or won’t.

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