I have learned many things since I started this horrid battle against the Pharyngeal and Squamous Cell Carcinomas.
One of the most important, yet heartbreaking, being that having terminal cancer changes all aspects of life. Yours and every person connected to you in any and each way.
For the patient it is difficult enough. They must go through the various stages of coming to the realization that they do indeed have terminal cancer. And Death is intimate.
I was tortured through the first few stages of cancer acceptance.
First came the “Denial” .
“I don’t have cancer. I want another and another opinion.”
Then came “Depression.”
The darkness crept in. The tears began to fall.
And of course this was followed by the demonic “Suicidal” stage.
I gave it serious consideration. Being a man who has been Blessed with loving family and dear friends, I was pulled from the bowels of this Demon.
And in all honesty it was just in the knick of time. I lie to you not
I am now in the “Acceptance” stage.
I am at peace with the diagnosis.
I am at war with the desease.
My soul mate, my family, my friends and everyone connected to my life get the smelly end of the stick.
They must stand helpless and full of guilt because they know not what they can do to alleviate my suffering.
(“SUFFER” is an understatement – what my precious loved ones had to witness was heartbreaking for me.)
Like I stated previously, I have no choice but to accept the “diagnosis“.
I DO NOT HAVE TO AGREE WITH THE “TERMINAL” labelling.
They, my loved ones, will forever be stuck in the “Denial” stage.
For who wants their spouse, parent, child, best friend, etc. to be dying of not one, but two cancers?
The pain and sorrow I see in their eyes fuels my fires to beat this demonic affliction against all the odds that are stacked against me.
I cannot allow cancer in my body to cause pain and heartbreak in their hearts.
We have all changed personality wise. My many sons and I have grown much closer. As has my relationship with my dearest friend and deepest love. The relationship between my ex-wife of 32 years and I has become far more calm, for lack of a better word.
The pleasent side of this is I hear the words, “I love you.” often. Not spoken only to me, but being readily exchanged between family and friends.
What makes this far more heartwarming is not only do I hear the sincerity of the “I love you’s”, I have the Blessing to see the “love” being naturally expressed.
There is always something good trapped inside a disparaging situation. You simply have to identify and bring it to the surface so that it may be a Blessing for all.
The cancer emotions are severe – severe enough to destroy even the strongest and most faithful of souls.
I put my loved one through Hell on many occasions this past few months. Especially when I battled my way through the Denial and Suicidal phase.
I am still a very moody and cantankerous prick at times. I try not to be but it happens. I could blame the pain, or the depression, or the side effects of the opiates, but I blame myself. It is up to me to not take my frustration and sadness out on others.
This Cancer War has made me a grounded soul. I realize that I am far from immortal now. Life is far more precious now. I treasure each second of every minute of each hour I have with my loved ones.
I see more beauty in my soul mate – my dearest friend – Maria. I see how handsome my sons are. I appreciate the love as a friend my ex-wife and I can now share.
Greatest thing I have learned is that life has no time for drama or childish arguments. That one smile is capable of banishing a hundred frowns.
I learned to love MYSELF once again and to let the people I love know that I do truly appreciate and love them.
Yet, I hold that guilt and the sorrow of what I see in their eyes.
I wish they could and would believe that although I am living in a painful Hell, I will be fine. For this Original Urban Viking – the Last Canadian Cosmonaut is not ready for ascension.
I will beat this demonic affliction back to the dusty bowels of Helheim it came from.
Until then, I shall remain – Dann, just as I am