I Hope 2019 is the Year Cancer Goes Away
If there was a single word that might have a great meaning for me in 2018, that word, I’m very sorry to have to say, is cancer.
Four close friends of mine were diagnosed with cancer in 2018.
Three of them learned they had breast cancer.
The first was diagnosed when the tumor was extremely small and easily treatable. She’s cancer free.
A second was likewise fortunate to have been diagnosed early and is undergoing chemotherapy now. Her prognosis is likewise excellent, but the chemo drugs are packing a punch.
A third spent half of the year under powerful chemo. The second round aggravated a different ailment she suffered from that had gone into remission. She got good news that the chemo seems to have accomplished just what the doctors hoped for. But she received bad news that she may have longterm complications because of that other condition that has been reactivated.
And then there’s the fourth friend. Last week, he was sent home on hospice care. Doctors have said they’ve done all they can do, and absent a miracle we’re all hoping for, well, you know what hospice usually means.
I’m struck as I look back at the four times this year I learned someone had been been diagnosed at the shock I felt. There was shock that such a terrible thing should happen to someone like them.
I’m also struck, though, at the surprise that such a thing could happen at all.
There’s a 100% chance that life will be fatal, as an old saying goes. None of us will get out of this life alive, another, paraphrased, goes.
Yet we all seem to be shocked that it even could happen.
What I’m left with, as I send up prayers of gratitude for three of my friends and ask for that miracle for my fourth, is a lesson that we need to start spending more time reaching out to people who mean a lot to us.
It’s terrible to realize that time is running out to say something to a loved one that you should have said long ago.
I’d love it if there was some magical way cancer could be vanquished once and for all in this new year.
We’ve made a lot of strides, yes. More types of cancer are curable, yes.
But some are still beyond the ability of modern medicine.
Until that changes, maybe it’s time we spend a bit more time letting those close to us know how much they’re valued.
Before it’s too late.