We just found out yesterday that my wife has cancer. What a bizarre thing to type.
The word instills fear, confusion and images of physical exhaustion during extended treatment. An outside agent that has entered our bodies to reek havoc. A parasite to which we play host. For most of us who lead quiet lives not threatened with apocalyptic events (war, famine, plague, genocide, etc.) only a few threats remain constant and unexpected. Cancer is one of those.
I feel almost numb. I don’t have an immediate reaction of sadness or anger or fear. I simply don’t comprehend the “meaning” of this event yet. I can’t help but wonder if I’m being callous or simple. I know in my heart that this isn’t the case. I don’t feel a need to get dramatic and fall on the floor weeping. I’m not the type of person to pull my hair and moan, “oh the injustice!” I generally am a person of action. I gravitate towards the British “stiff upper lip” outlook- find out the facts; make an informed decision; and support those in need through out it all.
In the meantime, I will continue to tell her that I support her. I will show my love. I will demonstrate that she is not alone. When cancer strikes, it is not solely the disease of the stricken. It is an event that mobilizes the community which surrounds it. Cancer will become a word of love and support, not isolation and mortality.