Whether it’s your next door neighbour or the person who lives two streets from your house. Your very best friend or just someone you once knew. Your Great Grandma or your favourite Grandpa. Your Mumma or your Dadda. Your big brother or your little sister or even just an article you flicked past in a magazine once. The odds are, every single one of us has already had our lives changed by Cancer in one way or another and for some of us, maybe even more than once.
Be it the beginning of a battle or the end of a war, we all know someone who has stood tall and fought. Maybe they won, maybe they lost or maybe they’re still fighting. Either way, when it comes to Cancer, if you were to ask me I don’t think anyone ever truly wins.
Cancer isn’t fussy with who it chooses. It doesn’t play favourites and it doesn’t sound a warning signal to allow you to prepare for what’s ahead. Not that it would really matter much, because let’s face it, how to deal with Cancer is not something you get taught at school, although maybe it should be.
Cancer is cruel. It knocks you down more times than you can count and then just when you think you’re finally strong enough to stand again, it hits you a little bit harder.
Cancer doesn’t take pity. It doesn’t slow down, it doesn’t stop to apologise and it doesn’t play by the rules. When it hits you, it hits you hard and all you can do is pray that you’re strong enough to stay standing and if you’re not, pray that the people around you are strong enough to hold you up.
Cancer is sneaky. It’s like a constant battle of hide and seek, searching for missing pieces of a puzzle, without knowing just how many pieces you’re looking for. Sometimes you get lucky and the doctors will find the whole puzzle and sometimes you won’t.
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to Cancer; the picture isn’t ever just black and white.
Sometimes it’s the old man in the hospital bed, fighting to take his last breath and sometimes it’s the little boy on the playground, too young to ever truly understand. Sometimes it’s the lady wearing the mulit-coloured scarf, too ashamed to show the world just how much the fight has taken from her and sometimes it’s the man who goes about his days as though nothing has really changed at all. Sometimes it’s written all over their face and sometimes it’s hidden behind the bravest of smiles. Sometimes you can tell from just one single glance and sometimes you wouldn’t have a clue.
Sometimes it makes a person bitter and sometimes the hope of a second chance is all it takes to make life seem a whole lot sweeter. Sometimes it makes a person drown in their sorrows and sometimes it gives them a new lease of life. Sometimes it brings families together and sometimes it tears them apart. Sometimes it isolates you and sometimes it shows you just how many people truly care. Sometimes it knocks you down so many times that it breaks you and sometimes it reminds you just how strong you are.
From the outside, we tend to judge. We often question the way a person handles themselves or the way in which they choose to cope, because we assume we know exactly how a person is feeling, when really all anyone is ever doing is trying their best to make sense of a crazy situation.
The truth is though, no matter how much we judge or how many times we assume something, we won’t ever really know until we ourselves are faced with that situation and even then we can only do the best that we know how.
At the end of the day, all we can ever really do is pray for the best. Pray that somehow this is all just part of a greater plan for us. Pray that someday, this will all make perfect sense.
So for now, I’m praying. I’m choosing to pray and I’m choosing to stay positive. I’m choosing to believe that good or bad, all things happen for a reason and although maybe right now that reason isn’t completely clear, someday it will be. Someday it has to be.