Just the name gives people pause. I hate cancer. Through the years most of my family and many friends have died from cancer or have been treated for this grievous disease. It took my precious Aunt Ruth away from me when I was only 7 and she was 58 years old. She helped raise me and her loss was deeply felt. She was patient, kind and loving and used to play the organ at her church on Sunday. She was a person raised in the Word and she lived in the Word until she went home to be with the Lord. She used to take my sister and myself to Sunday School with her when we were old enough.
Saturday I lost my baby sister to the same insidious cell debacle. While heaven may have yet another angel, we have one less loved one on earth. She made it clear that she was not going to fight this with the usual aggression many do because she had waited until it was too late to have her symptoms diagnosed. She had to suffer from an extremely cruel form of the disease, late stage esophageal cancer. She was not able to eat or drink by mouth but refused to try any treatments or surgery due to the very poor 5% / 5 year survival rate for this type of cancer. Instead she lived out the last months with a feeding tube and severe pain and digestive issues until the end.
I lost a friend to complications from breast cancer in 2007. It was first thought that she had passed from a random infection due to her lowered immune system caused by the chemotherapy but it turned out the cancer had been spreading like wildfire into her brain and even though she appeared to be improving, she was gone within about ten days from planning her reconstructive surgery and admittance into the hospital.
Soon after her diagnosis, she had sent me an email that her daughter had sent to her entitled “Cancer Update From John Hopkins.” After researching this online, it is stated to be a hoax. It was never sent from this medical facility. This is according to the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Copy of the original email hoax on about.com.
Email update regarding the hoax from hopkinsmedicine.org.
Perhaps many of you remember the constant cancer warnings that we grew up hearing in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The one I remembered was a blow or injury to tissue. While they now claim this is not a cause of cancer, I do know that my maternal grandmother suffered a fall and there was a lump on her chest. They checked it after it grew and it was found to be malignant. Now whether this was already there inside her body from her lungs or breast area, by the time they examined her, the cancer was spreading all through her body and they were not sure where it originated. This was her third diagnosis since she was a younger woman and was treated for what the Dr thought was a late stage Melanoma. Many years later a growth was biopsied from her mouth and found to be malignant at which time she was treated with radiation therapy. It was over 20 years later that she finally succumbed to this horrible disease. Both my sister and my grandmother smoked.
I wrote this poem when my friend and neighbor became terminally ill with what they called cancer of the unknown. It was through her body as well by the time they first operated for pain in her abdomen. At that time she was stage IV and decided against any type of treatment. She finally agreed to some radiation because she was told that she may have a chance of being cancer free. She was actually in good health to look at her, no real problems. Right after the radiation treatments she began to go downhill very quickly and passed in 2011, eight months later. It may have been a coincidence that she became worse after radiation, but this is not the first time I have seen my friends and family quickly succumb after agreeing to permit various cancer treatments.
Just go with your gut and try to make a well-educated decision if you ever find yourself about to confront this deadly disease. Get second and third opinions, ask questions and know that no two people or cases will ever be the same. You or your loved ones will be your best advocate to getting the best treatment in regards to your health.
Cancer Kiss My Ass!
Cancer kiss my ass
you sneaky sack of shit!
You creep inside my body
and make a mess of it.
You take away my family
and friends that I hold dear
until there’s only one of me
awaiting you with fear.
I know about the car crash
and the nutso with a gun
but you just bide your time
until you take out everyone.
CLewis © 2011