Friday, December 17, 2010

Cancer Sucks! It Really, Really Sucks!

A friend asked us to come over last Saturday night, because she wanted to share some news. We knew that she had had a medical appointment to examine a large mass in her tibia the day before, but all her husband said when we asked about it was “Not good. We’ll tell you tonight.” Well, the news was “Probable multiple myeloma,” a tough-as-a-nut blood cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow.

She had surgery Wednesday to implant a titanium rod in her tibia, because the bone was in danger of breaking without it. And that diagnosis was confirmed: multiple myeloma. It is looking pretty advanced, maybe even stage 3, which is the most advanced stage. She has had a ton of weird illnesses over the past year, and now it seems apparent that many or even most of these were caused by the myeloma as it remorselessly grew in her body.

Cancer just sucks! One more person, one more family, turned inside out and upside down, worrying about their future in fear. Every four minutes, an American is diagnosed with a blood cancer, and Wednesday morning, it was our friend Judy’s turn. She is facing the same difficult future that all newly diagnosed cancer patients do. Plus she is in a lot of pain and very sick from the side effects of the surgery. Her husband and daughter have been spending nights at the hospital. I’ve been trying to research things for them, and yesterday, I shoveled their driveway from our fresh 2-3 inch snowfall. It wasn’t much, but it made me feel better that I could do one tiny thing that might help them when she comes home from the hospital and won’t have to face getting through an icy driveway.

One more name for my next Team in Training race shirt. One more person dealing with the almost unbelievable misery of radiation and chemo, worrying how long they will live, trying to stay positive. One more spouse worrying if he and his wife will grow old together, how to get her the best treatment, feeling scared and overwhelmed. I added it up yesterday: I now know ten people personally who are currently dealing with cancer, and in more cases than not, they are very difficult cancers that are proving to be relentless, and very evil. And that number does not include the many survivors I know, nor those that have not made it.

Last February, when I wrote “The Limits of Cancer,” I was trying express how the human spirit is stronger than the evil powers of cancer. I still feel that way, but I also know that our friend is in for a very difficult time of it. Just how difficult will be made clear in the coming months. I feel really bad about her situation, and have that initial feeling of helplessness that everyone gets when a close friend or family member gets this diagnosis. Cancer sucks! It really, really sucks!


TNTcoach Ken said...

Sorry to hear about your friend and yes cancer sucks!

Elayne said...

So sorry to hear this Art. Prayers for her and her family & Friends.

Rob Larsen said...

Cancer sure does suck! I'm praying for your friend Art.