Perspective

In the past 2 weeks, my parents have lost two very, very dear friends to cancer. Each of them battled valiantly and beat the odds — by a long-shot.

My dad remains cancer-free following the removal of part of his lung last year. So, while we celebrate miracles of modern medicine, while we appreciate simple pleasures that life affords, we have the very fresh hurt that cancer brings.

And we have a perspective on the differences between earthly frustrations and the promise of eternity with our Father.

Today, I came across an obituary for a former Nightline producer. He died this week of colon cancer.

Spending a few minutes perusing through his blog will definitely create a shift in our daily perspectives. While I battled work-related issues through June and July, Leroy Sievers struggled with the transition from being the “biggest, strongest guy in the room” with an obligation to be of service to others to becoming the fellow who wondered how many more walker-aided steps he had left before being relegated to a wheel chair for the remainder of his life.

It matters to me that I am no longer self-sufficient. It matters to me that the simplest task can become difficult and complicated. It matters to me that I can’t simply do whatever I want, when I want, and how I want.

I guess that’s where the pride comes in.

I have to set that pride aside and realize that my life has changed, whether I like it or not.

But let’s be honest here. I don’t like it. Not a bit.

Sievers and his wife lost sleep wondering when the time was “right” to accept hospice care. I griped about the heat.

It’s a hard decision.

Will I be more comfortable under the care of the hospice nurses? After all, their whole program is geared to making the patient more comfortable and managing pain.

A little more pain management would be welcome right now. On the other hand, I’m just not sure I’m ready.

I think it’s a big step, in some ways, signaling that we’re getting ready for the end.

What’s the right way to go? I don’t know.

This time I’m stumped.

Spending 30 minutes skimming this gentle man’s blog — oddly — gives me renewed hope for what I can accomplish. In the last months of his life, Sievers struggled with bathing and shaving and daily routines, but he managed to inspire and comfort people who battled life-threatening illness. Maybe, a few readers like me just are in a bit of a funk.

So what can I do in the coming weeks, months, and years? I’m physically in the best shape of my life. My family is healthy. I have a good job and loyal friends, and an incredibly supportive family.

Dare to spend some time with this man who left behind a part of himself.

NPR: My Cancer

 

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