The Battling Against Cancer Hits Home

February 4, 2008 by  
Filed under CANCER

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My apologies for not showing up for the last few days — life seems to have gotten in the way of my blogging schedule due to two related events:

Losing the Battle

Earlier this week, my husband’s grandmother lost her battle with cancer. She had been battling an aggressive form of lung cancer for years, and by the end, I think that it’s fair to say that her closest family members are consoling themselves with the knowledge that she would no longer be suffering.

Her doctors, who had tried their best to convey the difference between “curative treatment” and “disease management,” prescribed medications to help her feel comfortable while they managed her disease. While the sentiment was never spoken aloud, I get the distinct feeling that she had never quite believed that there wasn’t a cure.

The Battle Begins Again

Shortly after we heard the news of her passing, my husband and I learned that a good friend of ours had recently been diagnosed with lymphoma.

Learning about our friend’s diagnosis was a shock. Before he embarked on his successful career as a scientist and administrator, he was a professional athlete and maintains a very healthy lifestyle. Luckily, he’s the kind of guy who never goes into a battle without being fully prepared, so he’s doing all the research that he can about treatment options right now.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my interview with Mary Pat Boyd lately, because she offered great advice to friends and family of individuals battling cancer — be there to talk and listen. The way that a person reacts to a new diagnosis is a supremely personal and different for everyone. Some people get angry, depressed or intensely spiritual. Some become reinvigorated and use that optimism to help those and others. As a caregiver or a friend, be aware that being there to support someone going through the battle is not always easy, but it is always worth it.

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