Cancer sucks

At this moment, that’s all I’ve got: cancer sucks.

Several weeks ago, I learned simultaneously that one friend was just diagnosed with melanoma and a sorority sister of mine had just lost her battle with cancer.  That morning, all I could think was, ‘cancer sucks’.

This morning, one very close friend was rushing home to be with his father who has been fighting courageously to rid his body of leukemia. Then, this afternoon, another friend wrote to tell me that his mum — a woman very dear to me — lost her seven-year battle with breast cancer just an hour earlier.

And, again, all I can think is, ‘cancer sucks’.

I don’t think many of us are strangers to cancer any longer. It is so pervasive. Whilst most of my working life is occupied by the world of HIV, TB and drug use issues, I’d love to see us all live to see the day when cancer is no longer so common. Regardless of what type or system it afflicts, the simple word, ‘cancer’, has this ability to absolutely paralyze and arrest all other thoughts.

We’ve come a long way in terms of diagnosing and treating cancer. Perhaps its simple awareness; perhaps it is a combination of awareness, early detection and better, more aggressive treatment. Perhaps, I’m simply at that age when cancer affects more within my own social network.

None of that is particularly comforting at this precise moment. I’m sure that it holds absolutely no meaning for those family members my darling friend Rita left behind.

Here’s to all those fighting their own battles against cancer, to their family, friends and loved ones fighting right alongside them, and to all those grieving as a results of this horrible scourge.

Cancer sucks. That’s still all I’ve got.

[For Rita.]

Image by Becky Hilgendorf (pikesbabe on flickr)

Image by Becky Hilgendorf
(pikesbabe on flickr)

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