Cancer has been hanging on the edges of my life recently like a grim reaper smog. Five people have lost their fight in the last weeks, long before it should have been their time to say goodbye. Senseless, is the only word for it.
What, possibly, on this merry earth, can be good about cancer?
If a miracle doesn’t happen, then the good news is small – actually imperceptible. But maybe it is still present; found in the tiny intercostal muscles of life.
Family and friends. They come together. They talk, cry, hug and laugh without restriction – because what is the point in fluffing about the issue when life and death are staring you bang in the face? They simply spend time, which in busy lives doesn’t happen as often as it should. They support; they may mend broken ties and hearts. If nothing else, they think about one another – even with no contact, there is heart in this.
Strangers. It begins with doctors, nurses, or one anaesthetist who threw out a meaningful line that stayed with your cancer patient to keep them strong. It moves into your community – help with the kids, meals on your doorstep, fund raising, prayers from the local church, a volunteer at the hospital, a sudden hug from a complete stranger who has found themselves in your world. How far the reach of your patient, how much they are loved and how much you are loved.
Personally. Strength – born of a love so great you would do anything. If you’re a survivor, you’ve had strength to fight to stay for your family. If you’ve been strong for your loved one in their illness and passing, has this, without anyone knowing, showed them you will be resilient so they can go in peace? There is also strength in the legacy: Why wouldn’t you follow the simple procedures science has given us to avoid cancer? Why wouldn’t you live your life fully and with heart, be healthy and giving, and know what you have is precious?
The tiny, imperceptible goodness in cancer seems to me to be that it shows us the most important thing is to love one another. As much as you can.