I could have had a chest infection, or pneumonia. I could have had small lung cancer, or lymphoma. Instead, I have germ cell cancer. No metastasis. Treatable and curable—hopefully.
Treatable and curable could change instantaneously. I understand that better than ever before, and I’m probably more equipped to handle it, but maybe not. I can’t know.
My cancer is good, relatively speaking. It’s localized, curable, and has a good prognosis. Thus in terms of cancer, I am lucky. But that luck scares and guilts me. I didn’t expect to get cancer, so the idea or fact that it is better than other cancers could change instantaneously. I could get another cancer, or the initial cancer (if cured) could recur. Then I would be in worse shape.
I have searched for other cancer tales and made some observations. Many other cancers are worse, often significantly, than mine. Many are treatable without a cure. Many are manageable. Some not. There are people behind all of these prognoses. Stories, families, struggles, and emotions line these dark and cancerous walls that can surround anyone with a heart. I’m sorry for your pain.
Cancer is a war made of many battles. The timeline is unknown, uncertainty is constant. The enemy feels no pain and luck is involved in every aspect—discovery, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, response, and circumstance. My health insurance tames artillery bill on the battlefield; my family provides support; my prognosis is good. This is all no more than luck.
Cancer is frightening. It is death. The fear is better felt when sitting beside it. It is a fear not of the cancer, but of what it will inflict and take away.
Cancer comes in many shapes, sizes, degrees, and eccentricities, and it’s not well understood. What is well understood is that it kills. It doesn’t think either. Cancer is ruthless, and in response, cancer receives a ruthless response—chemotherapy, radiation, and removal.
But cancer cannot take the human spirit.
Patients will bravely bear chemotherapy, radiation, and removal. Families will sit beside in agony, quietly in support. Through all of this, cancer can maim, destroy, and kill. And in response, the spirit will endure.