This past week I was talking with a fellow cancer patient and we spoke of how the journey often seems harder for those traveling with the patient.
THE WORLD SPINS
At first glance that may seem unreasonable or even a little insensitive. Stick with me for a few minutes, understand that I write as someone who has battled cancer the past two years.
When the doctor speaks those words, “you have cancer” everyone’s world starts to spin. The patient is immediately forced to deal with issues of mortality and grief. Grief over the life experiences cancer may rob them of. Both patient and caregiver are forced into learning a new language as they seek to develop and follow a treatment plan.
Caregivers and loved ones begin to deal with grief, loss, and develop a plan of attack to “cure” this illness that is attacking their loved one. Caregivers lives are thrown in turmoil. Suddenly they are taking care of household chores and someone who until recently was taking care of themselves and contributing to the well-being of the family.
Over time the patient is “given room” to process the issues they are dealing with. There is a moment when most come to grips with their mortality. In that moment a new set of priorities become clear. What was once important may fade into the background as they want to invest the remainder of their lives into what is “truly important.” Cancer may ultimately win, but it will not rob them of investing what life remains into what is of the highest value. [Read more…]