Some memories are less event-based and more the result of a recalled behavior. Early this morning I made a cup of coffee and as I went to sip it I realized that Rob who loved coffee would never taste it again. There's a pain to these simple truths, a pain that rushes to the heart. This is what grief feels like. A sudden stabbing,
A year ago I woke up ready to take my husband to chemo. This would have been Rob's second treatment and we were anxious to see it happen. Having known only delays because of staph infections, I was worried that the cancer was progressing. Nothing my son or I tried that morning could help Rob to stand. And we tried. He simply could not stand any longer. After 60 years of standing up, my husband could no longer do so and he would never again. Later at the hospital we would learn that the spinal lesions were compressing his spine.
It was still early morning when Rob was taken by ambulance to the hospital. As we waited he cried. I can't recall having seen Rob cry but on that morning he did. He told me he feared he would never come home again. It would be 50 more days before another ambulance would return my husband to our home where a few weeks later he would die. Four months earlier we were planning a trip to Maine unaware of the stage 4 lung cancer rioting through my husband's body.
Lung cancer devastates with its quickness, its exactness, its cruelty. By the time it reveals itself, it is so often too, too late.
My son tells me that a cure for cancer is three years away. Upstairs in our home a dedicated computer runs 24 hours a day. This is a computer Dev built a few years ago and then set up so that medical researchers could use its power when joined with others to perform the massive calculations necessary to exacting a cure. He gets updates now and then as to the progress being made. Our computer is dedicated to cancer research.
I take comfort in the idea of a cancer-free world. I take comfort in the thought that others will not need to go through the grief that so many of us know by heart and by name. At the turn of the last century when my grandmother was a young girl, 1 in 14 contracted cancer. By mid century, the time my parents welcomed home my older brother, the odds were 1 in 10. In this calendar year the odds have grow more deadly. Now, 1 in 3 will contract cancer.
1 in 3.
Before 2016 turns to 2017, I hope you will join me and donate to cancer research. This touches all of us. You can donate here.