This weekend here in Montreal there was a two day walk to end women’s cancers. In fact almost every weekend there is some kind of a walk or activity or charity event to help raise money for cancer research. To help end cancer. I can’t watch the news anymore without getting so emotional. When I hear a cancer story my heart beats so fast it’s as if I am running a marathon. All that suffering and struggle and pain. All that hope and courage and sometimes even despair.
It doesn’t take much for someone’s life to change unexpectedly. With cancer there are always complications. What happened to my husband we thought was unfair. He was sick yes but he hadn’t reached the stage where the doctors didn’t know what to do or couldn’t do anything about it anymore. On the contrary, his tests came clean and the doctors had high hopes for him, thus so did he. And what happened that day changed everything.
Khaled Hosseini wrote:
“It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime…”
A few weeks after my husband was gone, on an icy cold December night, we (my kids and I) were shoveling the snow off the car when one of our neighbors approached us. He offered his condolences and said he didn’t know and that he was sorry. And then he told us that his wife was also sick and that she was at home dying. There was nothing the doctors or anyone could do about it. When I told him my husband was fifty seven years old, he said his wife was fifty six and wouldn’t live to be fifty seven.
I felt so sorry for him and his kids. See as hard as it was for us to lose our loved one, I thought it must be harder for his family. To watch a loved one die and know that there’s nothing you can do about it must be harder. Every day those kids must have come home expecting the worst, seeing their mom waste away, watching her suffer, waiting for that hour, for that moment when she would breathe her last breath. At least my kids and I were spared that agony. And for that alone I am forever grateful.
I don’t want to think and remember the cancer days anymore. I don’t like to run a marathon with my heart, especially not at night. And when I go to bed I promise myself to think and remember the good old days we had. We had plenty of them, a life before cancer. I go to bed saying a prayer for all those who suffer from cancer or from any other disease. I go to bed praying and hoping that one day our children and grandchildren could live in a world free of cancer.