Most think that the worst of the c-word (cancer) starts with a diagnosis, but it’s actually the not knowing part – the part right before when either you think you’re dying (and of what you have no clue) or you don’t even notice until it’s too far gone.
But there are scarier things than a cancer diagnosis. For one, there’s coming out of remission and back into the hospital with the chemo and possibly more surgery than the first time around.
And there’s the scariest – seeing someone you love go through all of the stages of having cancer and not being able to do anything to help fight it off but be there in full support. The waiting for a diagnosis, for a course of action to be chosen, for the day of treatment to begin, for the chemo pills to arrive/chemo drip to start, for the day of surgery, for the surgery to be over, for a sentence of remission… There’s a lot of waiting and being uncertain of what might happen. With the c-word, anything is possible.
Just what is this scary thing I call the c-word? “Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body” (cancer enter.com) – it’s the uncontrolled part and abnormal part that we fear the most because if something as basic as a body cell starts malfunctioning, it sets a snowball effect going as the problem grows into a serious malfunction of an organ or organ system.
Just how common is cancer? It is estimated that in 2016 there will be 841,390 males and 843,820 females diagnosed with new cases of cancer in the U.S. alone. The most common cancer being prostate cancer for men and breast cancer for women. These numbers are based on cancer statistics from previous years (cancer.org).
But with today’s medical technology, treatment is usually a lot less of a game of chance than a plan of action. There has been so much research done that oncologists are aware of and uptodate with that it’s easy for them to point you to different options and courses of action. Their certainty in their knowledge and abilities seems to ease the mind of the patient in trying times even though no course of action is at any time a guarantee of remission. Still, there is comfort in knowing a whole team of doctors came together to discuss the treatment plans and options available for most common c-word cases.
And yet, having gone through it with my dad as the patient, I still call it the c-word. Cancer is real, raw, and can be deadly. It is scary but it must be confronted, stared down, taken head-on, and demolished. In one word, it must be obliterated and to do so takes everything you’ve got – body, mind, and soul.