Those Fighting Cancer–Can We Help? | Timothy Joseph, Author | Writing The Best Books & Essays

Those Fighting Cancer–Can We Help?

Those Fighting Cancer–Can We Help?

I have no sure answer to that question, because cancer causes such mental and physical trauma, and only that person can sort out its impact. We have lost three close friends and one family member to cancer. Each cut out part of our hearts leaving us exposed in pain and sadness, and yes, anger. When I was told I had cancer, it was as if someone pulled a cold, wet, heavy black canvas over my head to suffocate me. For the first time ever the word ‘death’ was relative to “me”. I’m a cancer survivor, but I cannot forget how that word spawned chaos, and badly muddled my psyche. 

Cancer attacks not only the cells of our body, but the way we think and feel. Well, the very same muddled chaos happened recently to me when I learned a dear friend has pancreatic and liver cancer. And after chemotherapy, it continues to develop. While anger and sorrow rip me apart, I struggle to know what, if anything, I can do. I know full well that there really isn’t anything, but at the same time, having faced cancer myself, what I do know is that when I saw and felt the caring of my family and friends, it brought me emotional strength. The only thing worse than facing cancer, is facing it alone. Had I not “felt” their love and concern, and yes, their pain, I would have gladly jumped head first into the cauldron of deep depression, for I had no reason not to. But I couldn’t let them down by jumping. 

Again I am muddled in chaos because someone I care deeply for is in the throes of far worse muddled chaos. He is spinning inside his psyche trying to sort out the ramification of his horrid nemesis, and the spinning is near impossible to slow down, let alone stop. There is a terrible war being waged against his pancreas and liver, and right now the war is too much for his body to fight alone, and he is bringing on the big guns of chemical attack, while looking at adding radiation and other armament to deal the damn cancer as hard a punch as his body can handle. All the while, his psyche isn’t being given a break/rest. 

What can anyone do? How can we help, or can we? While we have no ability to wage any war inside a person’s body, I do believe that we can offer just a tad of armament for the battle in the minds of those facing this vile and despicable nemesis. We can remind them how much we care, we can show and tell them we love them, we can shed a tear with no embarrassment, we can hurt with them, and we can share our love in so many ways. 

For crying-out-loud put aside any embarrassment because of their condition. They know they have cancer, you know it, so screw the cancer and hug the friend. Tell them, show them, support them, listen to them, care for them, and stop being afraid to be saddened or feel anger. I am damn pissed that my close friend, a person I wish were my brother, has to be in this physical and mental battle. I’m so mad I could spit anger, and I can’t help it, it’s just not fair. I have only my feeling to give to him, my genuine care and love, my words, spoken and written to him, my time to listen, to share friendship when he is able, and to offer all I am able to. 

It may not battle the cancer cells, but maybe it can battle just a tiny bit the depression that cancer imposes. Cancer drops the bomb of negativity, but it has no way to prevent our positive outlook, or our smiles of love and concern. Cancer can win and it can and often does “LOSE”. We need to forget the negative, and concentrate on the positive. We need to put aside the best we can the status of the battle within, and just keep fighting with genuine love, expressed in the spoken word, the written word, and the shared time in the positive. This is our only armament available, so let’s just use it to the max. Let’s stop thinking the worse, and concentrate on winning. Many things can cause a war to turn-around. So why not this war?  Jim, I love you.      tj

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