Cancer Courage And Love

Cancer Courage And Love



Cancer – Courage and​ Love By Lorraine Kember

Everyday we hear of​ people dealing with incredible sadness and​ loss and​ we wonder; how do they do it? Where do they find the​ courage the​ strength? We may even ask ourselves how we would cope under the​ circumstances. Sadly, we only become aware of​ the​ answer, when tragedy visits us and​ our own lives are thrown into turmoil.

When some one we love is​ diagnosed with a​ terminal cancer, life as​ we knew it​ changes forever. Suddenly we enter a​ new world, a​ world filled with helplessness, despair and​ fear of​ the​ unknown. We no longer walk aimlessly around shopping Malls; we walk the​ Hospital corridors and​ sit in​ chemotherapy waiting rooms and​ are shocked by the​ number of​ people afflicted by cancer. We can not help but wonder if​ one day we too may be a​ patient and​ we fear for​ our own mortality.

Sitting in​ a​ Chemotherapy ward is​ an​ experience not to​ be forgotten. Cancer has no respect for​ gender, age or​ wealth. There are people from every race, color and​ creed; rich, middle class and​ poor; and​ none of​ this makes the​ slightest difference. They are all untited in​ their suffering, fellow human beings on the​ same sad journey.

One can not bear witness to​ the​ incredible courage of​ those who have cancer, without being deeply affected. My husband’s courage in​ the​ face of​ his terminal mesothelioma cancer held me in​ awe and​ I decided to​ do everything within my power to​ help him.

I learned about the​ stages and​ symptoms of​ his disease; the​ pain he would experience and​ ways to​ bring it​ under control, so that I could work with his doctors, to​ achieve for​ him, the​ best possible quality of​ life for​ what ever time he was granted. it​ was incredibly hard to​ wake each day with the​ knowledge that my husband was dying; my anticipatory grief often overwhelmed me but somehow I managed to​ carry on. One day a​ lady said to​ me, “You are such a​ strong woman.” and​ I wondered what had made her say that. I didn’t feel strong, I felt like I was breaking.

Despite a​ prognosis of​ three to​ nine months, my husband survived for​ two years and​ was not bed bound until three short days prior to​ his death. My journey beside him as​ he traveled to​ the​ end of​ his life, has taught me many things, above all the​ true meaning of​ love and​ the​ strength of​ the​ human spirit.

Deep within ourselves there is​ strength and​ courage to​ sustain us in​ times of​ personal tragedy. I have come to​ realize that during my husband’s illness, I was indeed strong. I may have staggered with the​ burden of​ my grief but I did manage to​ help my husband achieve a​ quality of​ life few thought possible considering the​ nature of​ his disease. And, thanks to​ the​ expertise and​ dedication of​ the​ Palliative Care Team, I was able to​ fulfill my promise to​ him that he would not die in​ hospital. His death at​ home was as​ loving, sharing and​ peaceful as​ anyone could wish for.

I have witnessed courage; that of​ my husband as​ he battled his disease and​ of​ my own as​ I stood beside him, determined to​ improve the​ quality of​ his life. the​ knowledge that I was successful in​ this has brought me much peace. My husband’s illness and​ death have wounded me deeply yet I have emerged far stronger than ever before and​ gone on to​ achieve things I never thought possible.

My experience has taught me not to​ take life for​ granted and​ to​ live each day with thanks for​ the​ wonderful gift that it​ is. I have witnessed death; my awareness of​ the​ fragility of​ life, despite the​ strongest of​ wills strengthens my determination to​ grasp everything life offers me, with both hands.




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