A Circle of Emotions


Cancer plays so many cruel games on its’ victims.

The diagnosis, the words, “We’ve found cancer,” is the shock and rock of a lifetime.  The world goes numb, we don’t really hear any of the words after those, because, really, what is there left to say or hear?

Once it’s penetrated your mind, the doctor visits begin, the therapies are planned and treatment begins…more shock and thoughts that this can’t be happening to you or your loved one.  But most of us in this phase, think it over and over in our minds and we decide that we will be the one who beats this beast.  We’ll be the success story.  We’ll be the one called the ‘survivor.’   So we’re positive about our outcome…we have to be, otherwise what’s the use of trying? 

Our will to live is so important when we’re fighting this stuff.  We watch our loved ones push past the nausea.  We watch them fight to put a few bites of food in their mouth because, we, the caregivers, have read the book that says, protien and fluids are so important during treatment, so “EAT.” 

We keep the good vibes going and we say how good they look or that they don’t look like they have cancer.  We urge them to take a walk or to get some fresh air, because they’ll feel better. 

It’s all a state of mind in cancer world.

And then the beast gets serious and the rules change.  Next thing you know, you’re sitting by the hospital bed and all you can do is watch and wait.  Cancer is running the game now…..Sitting and waiting and worrying… Even the doctors look concerned. 

It’s like being in the middle of a hurricane.  The winds blow you one way and you keep your feet planted and you think you’ve got it figured out.  Then the eye of the storm surrounds you and there’s a short but welcomed calm, but don’t be fooled, the back end of the storm isn’t far behind and sometimes it’s even more vicious. 

Our emotions take the biggest hit.  We worry, we don’t sleep, we hang on every word from the doctors and we worry some more.  We use every bit of adrenaline our bodies can produce and we hope.  And then there’s a change, a rally.  Our loved one some how finds the strength to fight another day.  The doctors can’t really explain it and you don’t really care because you see life rising to face the beast once more and that’s all that matters. 

Now you’re emotions make a u-turn and you also rise to the occasion. 

How many times can the patient do this and how many times can the caregiver do this? 

As many times as we need too…is the short answer.

And we go back to saying “You look so much better today.” 

And the adrenaline starts to pump again.

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