Cancer! I think this is one of the scariest and ugliest words in the English language. How can a word that only contains six letters be so terrifying?
I walked out of the parking complex yesterday and in front of me loomed this huge building. Its architecture is quite impressive with its large windows that beckon to the sunlight and views of the Buffalo skyline. But at the end of the day, it is a building filled with people. People from every walk of life, every culture, every ethnicity, every race, every sex and sexual orientation, every socioeconomic background, there is so much diversity within these walls. You see, cancer does not discriminate!
What’s even more impressive are the people behind those doors. These people who are fighting the fight…the ones who fight to be strong, positive, and understanding of the feelings of their loved ones. The ones who have Googled and researched “their cancer” to become as educated as they can about this cancer, their treatments, and their survival rate. The ones who tell their loved ones that everything is going to be okay. The ones who are scared but try not to show it. The ones who try to put on a brave face every morning and face the day when sometimes all they want to do stay in bed and cry. The ones who are making decisions that they never thought and/or wanted to make. The ones who are looking cancer straight in the face and saying, “You will not defeat me!”
These people who are families and friends. They are devastated by this cancer news. They are trying to be strong and supportive. They are scared for their loved one. They are Googling and researching their person’s cancer so that they can better understand the fight that is to come. They try to hide their emotions as they support their loved one. For some, this is not their first time watching someone they love deal with cancer.
But let’s not forget about the people who have some of the toughest jobs in the world…each person working within this complex has a unique opportunity to change the outlook of the people they encounter during the day. They have to be compassionate, understanding, empathetic, tough, honest…sometimes brutally honest, dedicated, helpful, brilliant at their chosen craft, and the list goes on. The ones who continue to research to find a way to beat this cancer.
As I entered into the hospital, it struck me. Everyone within this structure was in the mist of life altering experiences. It is hard not to look at the faces of the people that I talked to and passed in the various waiting rooms. It is hard not to wonder about those life’s that will never be the same because of this fight. It is hard to determine who the patients are and who the family members are, in some cases. It is hard to understand the full extent of what I am about to go through. It is hard to know that my family and friends have to go through this too. It is hard to understand how that nasty six letter word has taken so many amazing people before their time. It is hard to know that there is something lurking inside your body that wants to snuff out your dreams and wreak havoc on your body, mind, and soul. It is hard to realize that cancer is big business. It is hard to make decisions that one should not have to make. It is hard!!