A mere 18 months ago, Patty and I were just this happy-go-lucky couple. Life was perfect, at least that’s what we thought. Sure we had many of the same issues and challenges as most couples have, but overall, life was great. But you know what? I think I can honestly say that now, life is better!
Looking back, my father had prostate cancer in his mid-60’s. I’m ashamed to admit, but I was young and pretty self-absorbed at the time. I remember him having surgery and going through radiation treatments. I do recall him very weak from the treatments and one day him telling me “Ed, if I would have known how these treatments made me feel, I would have never done it.” He finished his treatments and went on to live a very long life of 94 years! I never gave it a second thought that he could have died from the cancer. “He’s my dad! He’s going to live forever!” I just went on with my life and never gave a second thought to what he and my mother were going through. Now knowing the challenges Patty and I have face the past 18 months, I look at what they went through much differently. I wish I could apologize to them.
Other than my father, Patty and I had never been affected by cancer of any type. We had never known someone outside the family who was diagnosed with it. Patty’s family has no history of cancer. We’ve never had a friend, or a friend of a friend, who had it. Cancer just wasn’t in our world. When we did hear of someone diagnosed with cancer, we’d look at each other and say “Oh.. that’s too bad. I hope they’re going to be alright.” And that was about it. No further thought. No idea of what that person was facing nor how the cancer affected them, their family, their friends.
Patty and I talked last night and counted the number of people we personally know who have some form of cancer…. TWELVE! TWELVE people! Twelve people we personally know who have cancer of various types and in various stages. Twelve people who’s lives will change forever. Some of those twelve will make it through the battle… others may not! That just angers me!
I’m not sure where I’m going with today’s post. I think I’m just venting.
Cancer is just so random. Why it chooses one person and not another person is beyond me. There are times I’ve thought “Why did it choose Patty?” Was God trying to give us a wake-up call? If he was… it worked! Patty and I have face challenges and trials over the past 18 months that I could have never imagined facing. These challenges were no more and no less than what any person diagnosed with cancer goes through. Sure the types, stages, grades and treatments may vary, but the challenges, both emotional and physical, are similar.
What is the deal with cancer research? There are billions of dollar that go into research and yet no cure. I hear rumor the researchers are close in some respects, but still so far from beating it! Researchers etc. have made a lot of headway regarding breast cancer treatment as treatment is now leaps-and-bounds from where it was even ten years ago. Maybe researchers will accidentally come across something that will cure cancer. Kind of like how they accidentally discovered Viagra. In that case, researchers were testing a cardiovascular drug known for lowering blood pressure. They found the drug did lower blood pressure however had a significant side-effect on the male volunteers… presto chango… Viagra was discovered! Maybe something like that can happen for a cure for cancer.
Well, thank you for letting me vent! I’m done!
Team Patty in Pink hit’s the road this Friday morning for the Komen 3-Day walk. Patty and Nicole have been squeezing in their training walks as often as possible, but it hasn’t been as often as they’d like due to weather, work, travel, sickness, etc. They did do a 12 mile walk about a week ago. I can tell you, Patty is pretty excited for the walk. Knowing her, she’ll do just fine. Stay tuned… I’ll be doing more posts about the walk this weekend.
I started this post saying that life is better now than pre-cancer. It really is! I didn’t think it was possible, but Patty and I have grown so much closer. We have so much respect for each other. We enjoy our time together so much. She’s my best friend.
Patty still gets very frightened about cancer. The subject seems to always be lurking around the corner or hovering around like a dark cloud. I was telling someone just today that people often thing that when the treatment is over and you’re cancer free you just continue on with life like nothing has happened. Not true. It’s something we’ll just have to live with…