I have lost another person I love to cancer.
Cancer, the relentless beast that is unforgiving, brutally ugly and vicious.
No one is immune and no one can really be blamed. Sure, the life we lead might put us at a higher "risk" for getting it, but then how can we explain when an innocent child is stricken with a brain tumor or leukemia? What did they do to deserve that kind of pain and suffering?
Cancer opens the floodgates to questions that seem to have no answers. There is no rhyme or reason, so we have to learn to accept what truly IS (in terms of reality) regardless of the outcome. It doesn't mean we can't be pissed off about it, or feel tremendous sadness, it just means that we must get through it...any way we can. I have been blessed enough to have family and friends who step up and offer the kind of love and support that brings comfort and peace in times like these.
I would like to believe that we have some control over our chances but the facts and theories are shrouded in mystery. Some claim to have healed themselves through diet, exercise, green drinks, gurus, meditation and prayer. Others invest all their chips by gambling on Western medicine alone, hoping that the chemicals penetrating their bodies will kill off the bad stuff and give rise to new healthy cells, cells that do their intended jobs. Some are fortunate and beat the odds, others are not so lucky.
The bottom line is that no one can hide from cancer. You can live your life clean, eat all organic food and exercise until you have 3% body fat...and still get it, think: Lance Armstrong.
That being said, what can we do? Do we get caught up in all the negative stuff and say screw it, I'm gonna do what I want because I can't stop the train if it has no brakes?
Or do we obsess about every minute detail in our food sources, exercise until we are blue in the face or research what the EPA says is the safest place to live? I don't think that's the answer either...
I can say this-without any expertise whatsoever-You have to LIVE your life, the way you see fit. There are thousands of books and people out there touting how we can "cure" ourselves and the ways in which we can prevent disease from invading our bodies, which certainly have validity.
But the reality is you can spend all your time worrying about dying and suddenly your life has passed you by.
We MUST cease the moments of every day, be present in our lives and create relationships that nurture both our souls and spirit. We must learn to let go of anger and hatred and embrace light, love and laughter. It's work, no doubt, but the time we waste, the energy we waste, on grudges and hate, it's of no use to anyone, most certainly not ourselves.
I know this much is true, I don't want to live my life with senseless regrets. And although I have lost people I love, I know that the time I had with them was quality. No stone was left unturned and though I feel sadness and grief at times because I deeply miss them, I don't feel guilt or anger for things I didn't say or do.
As I watch my husband mourn the loss of his father, I am hopeful that his heart will heal quickly and he will be left with only the memories of laughter and joy that he shared with his dad. Chris was there, completely present at the toughest time of both his father's and his own life. He didn't walk away, he didn't hide. He was THERE... through it all.
Finding the strength to be there, to watch someone you love, leave this world and move on to the next...well let's just say it's not easy. But there is tremendous comfort in knowing that one of the people you love most, one of the people who gave you life, didn't leave this world alone.
I dedicate this blog to Larry James Alsop, a great father, grandfather, brother, husband and friend.