[cancer] Chemo and its discontents

I hate the way cancer bends people around me. The last two days have been very difficult in my family, for reasons which are obvious, and which I will not elaborate on for the sake of the privacy of others. Things seem to be better today, but that remains to be proven.

I’ve said before that cancer is a social disease. It affects everyone in my circle, from my nearest and dearest to distant friends, and even strangers moved to write to me about the experiences in their lives and families. I receive heart-warming emails, I receive heart-rending emails. Some are both.

But when the stress and fear and rage strike at home, while I’m still flattened by chemo and crawling back out of the drug pit it pushes me into, that redoubles the impact for me. I am surrounded by love, and I love more than freely in return, but sometimes the tide of cancer can even roll over those long, firm seawalls and flood the swamps of my despair.

We go on, because there is nothing else to do. We go on, because that is how we triumph. I go on because I must, because I love, because I cannot and will not do anything else. But some days are damned, damned hard.