On the weekend, we went to visit my husband’s very good friend at Princess Margaret Hospital. He’s in his thirties, has a wife and and a baby, and optimistically fighting a battle with a very stubborn cancer.
My husband decided that we should also bring his 11-year old son with us to visit. I was hesitant at first because it is such a harsh reality to expose to someone his age. My stepson doesn’t know him very well, so why would you want to bring him into a sad environment when he doesn’t need to be there? Then I realized that hubby made a good call. He is old enough to understand the situation and it is good for him to see that cancer can affect anyone – young/old, athletes/non-athletes, nice guys/assholes; it didn’t matter. Now, did that teach him a lesson? Probably not. There’s no lesson to be learned with this cancer. It’s not a threat, punishment or consequence. It didn’t teach him that he needs to eat healthier or be a better person, but it did show him that shit happens and we need to learn how to deal with it.
I can’t even fathom what his wife is going through but I know she’ll do what she needs to do for him and for their baby. I see they have a very strong support network but I understand that nothing can ease her breaking heart, and that really sucks.
I’ve been lucky so far to not have cancer drastically affect my life but I have had a cancer scare a few years ago. At 29, I found a lump in my right breast. What young woman would have to worry about breast cancer? I went through the process anyway – ultrasounds, a mammogram and biopsies. Thankfully it was nothing serious, but just waiting for results was nerve racking and scary. Now I’ll just have to actively monitor things and wait for results every 6 months. That’s how I’m handling it.
So, yes, shit happens and cancer is a huge piece of it. Let’s try to kick its ass and, in the meantime, show our kids how we can deal with unexpected adversity.