Monday 9 April 2018

Cancer: You can’t keep winning this game at life.

Strumming the pain
It is heart-breaking and humbling to watch and he is strumming the ebbing signs of life in the departure lounge from a body wrecked even with a mind so lively and writing full of poetic movement.
I discovered on my Twitter timeline only a few days ago that a friend who had never met but was much an acquaintance was dying from terminal cancer. As I went through his timeline, he had cancelled a wish list, married his partner, signed over his house, began to receive visitors who had ignored him for years but were now seeking to see him for the last time.
The cancer commons
Cancer creates some sort of kindred spirit, in my case, I have been fortunate, I survived, but I never cease to feel as vulnerable when I learn of anyone being visited by this rotten scourge.
I immediately wrote a direct message to him expressing my deepest sympathies of learning of his situation. He had written in detail about all his feelings physical, mental and emotional, all of which I would well relate to. However, I have learnt that just because I have once had cancer does not mean I can say I know what you’re going through.
At best, I understand, maybe I can quite relate, but beyond that, each cancer experience is unique and different, from the diagnosis through the prognosis and the options you have to tackle the disease. In my case, I was given some hope, responding to treatment meant I would survive that episode else, I had just five weeks to live. In his case, it was an aggressive leukaemia or which all options had been exhausted.
He responded so graciously to my message wishing me a long healthy and happy life.
The slow goodbyes
I am the going through lots of emotions, a man so young watching his life ebb away because there is nothing he or medicine could do about it. Miracles we were taught to believe in seem to be in such short supply, they have become the substance of fable or fairy tales even if we are literally commanded to have faith.
Online, I am almost encamped in a vigil on his timeline at the sadness of this because this was one who brought love, joy, happiness and laughter to others in his prime and his strength.
His condition is at a point where what can be done is palliative, h has moved into hospice care and though he went in with his dog, he has sent his dog home with his husband because the dog can sense that things are not so good with his master and is taking on that strain too.
Reading through his blogs, I have not seen resignation or regret, but an acceptance of the inevitable and a desire to breathe his last in the arms of his beloved husband. Cancer, you can’t keep winning this game at life.

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