Cancer, Let’s Talk


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cancerI woke today to another request for support for a family forced to face the challenges of cancer.  I find myself a touch overwhelmed by the stream of people these days that are getting cancer, getting a cancer scare or dealing with the impact of a close friend or family member dying from cancer – over time or in a few short months.

Years ago I wrestled with cancer.  We fought. We talked. Cancer forced me to learn to relate.  To listen and discover possibilities in places that seemed too dark or too painful to consider exploring. Cancer forced me to look. It forced or invited me to do something radically different with my life.

I won’t say we were friends.  But I didn’t hate cancer.  We were relational in spite of our differences and I moved on.

Now though it seems cancer as come into my life again.  Not from the inside.  But from the outside.  All I know to do is try to stay curious.  It’s harder when it’s outside of me.  I don’t like witnessing the rampage.

So I write.  It’s all I can do.

Cancer, you and I have had some run ins.

I thought we worked it out.

I came to know you as a crazy, creative crack that let new light in

But it seems you have taken over

Every day it seems I get an email, a call or news that someone close has cancer or someone in their circle has cancer

It’s just not right

Why and how have you taken over?

Are you a friend, an enemy, an alien?

Are you trying to communicate?

If so – stop screaming.

I am still curious

But I don’t like your strategy

Too many good people are dropping

May be we as species are just not listening

And you keep screaming

But what do you want?

Oddly for all your pain and heartache

You seem to force community

People rally and relate when it comes to cancer

May be you have become a common enemy

One that impacts everyone touched

I know you forced me to connect to my world

To relate differently

Is that your plan?

Or are you simply out of control

Like I said I am still curious

Though more than slightly pissed.

These were the words that fell out today. I know they likely will not help anyone in the fight currently.  Yet I just had to write.  To ask for a cease fire.  Stop the war.

Is there any other way to learn to relate?  It seems we are either fighting each other on the outside or fighting ourselves inside.

Wars – inside and out.

There must be another way!!