I wanted to call this post F@*! Cancer but I’m a pastor and denominational leader and such vulgarities are frowned upon in my circles. On the one hand, I don’t care about that. On the other, swearing about cancer won’t make it go away. But sometimes it’s the best we can do.
There are more than 120 different kinds of cancer. Did you know that you know that you can get cancer of the eyelids? You can get cancer of the salivary glands? You (women) can even get cancer on your vulva. True story.
My mother died of breast cancer. My father died of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. My friend C died of uterine cancer. My friend M died of liver cancer. My friend D died of brain cancer.
I’ve lost count of how many of my friends’ mothers have died of breast cancer. We hate being in this club.
Some people don’t die. I didn’t die.
But not knowing what’s going to happen is so strange. I remember asking my brother one August if he thought our Dad would be with us at Christmas. Dad died within the week. We just don’t know when the end will come. This is a blessing and a curse.
The best part of a cancer diagnosis is that you get that jolt that reminds you to tell people you love them. You can prepare. You can write notes to your people. You can record in your own voice how much you love them.
The worst part of a cancer diagnosis is that you might die sooner than you imagined. And you actually have cancer. You could be zapped and poked and prodded and poisoned and people will feel sorry for you and give you that look. Or you could hear words like “incurable” or “terminal” or “nothing-we-can-do” or “put-your-affairs-in-order.” You get added to the Prayer List. (Note: it’s more difficult to get off the Prayer List than to get on it.)
I hate cancer so much. I especially hate it today.