The words are hard enough to hear..”You have cancer.”
Then comes the reaction. How do you handle it? Do you remember what you did when those words changed your life?
First you cry…then you cry again. Between those tears, your thoughts cycle through your life at lightning speed. The memories come in no particular order. You don’t start at childhood and follow year after year. Speaking from a care giver’s viewpoint, I jumped ahead. I thought about the future and what Leroy would be facing as a cancer patient. All the rough days of treatment. How his active life of covering the stories of the world would stop. His new world would be very small and I worried how he would accept that new world.
He said he first wondered if he would die quickly and when the first set of doctors told him he only had a few months to live, he wondered how he could manage wrapping up a life like his in such a short time. I was surprised to hear that from him, because once I got over my first cry, I jumped immediately to the “They’re wrong and we’re going to fight this together.” But we did cry together. It was such a crushing blow to our world.
I imagine it would be the same for just about everyone.
This is on my mind tonight as I think about my neighbor who is trying to manage this news with strength and courage. She’s been through a difficult surgery already and will face more challenges soon. She’s strong one minute and not so strong the next…it’s hard walking this balance beam.
“You have cancer.” Words that can change a world.