Knowing When To Support Quietly

“I’m having surgery on Monday” were the words that came up on my iPhone screen two weeks ago from a longtime friend. I’m not going into the details of the conversation, but it turns out that he has early stage lung cancer. He hasn’t gotten an exact diagnosis as yet, but he isn’t handling it well, and in reality, who can?

I know that I had my fair share of stuff and I continue to experience the effects caused by my conditions, but how does one handle the idea of their mortality handed to them? When I was told I had heart failure, I went through a brief phase where I questioned my own expiration date, but I was convinced that I was going to reverse this, despite my doctors’ opinions and I prevailed.

If were to get a diagnosis today of cancer, and in all honesty, I have questioned myself about it, I don’t think that I would go into a funk. I honestly would accept it, try my best to fight it, and live the most of what life I am destined to have. That’s just who I am. It takes a hell of a lot to phase me. Having a slew of medical conditions and being told that it is a miracle that I am still alive does make one more aware of the mortality to an extent, but it is a more distant destination with an unknown arrival time.

For someone with cancer, the word alone in our society resonates with death. I think people automatically question “how long”. In reality, we are all walking around with the “how long” syndrome but don’t openly question it because we all assume that we will live to be old and grey and sitting in a rocking chair watching the sun set on our farm while the great grands are running around chasing lightening bugs.

I handle adversity with humor. I try to find the funny in everything around me because for me laughter is the best medicine. My friend is a very funny man with the same brand of humor as myself, but this news has plummeted him into a a dark and sad place where he can barely crack a smil. I want to blast him with humor, but I know he is not in that place right now and I have to let him absorb and assimilate the news. He won’t find out for sure how bad his cancer is and what course of treatment he will be offered until he meets with the Oncologist next week.

For me, I am the advice man and the positivity pusher and it is tough for me to sit back and be quiet, but I know that is what is needed right now. All I can do is support spiritually, check in with him and say nothing, for now.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. I’ve had 4 different heart conditions and could likely drop dead at any time. I came to terms with my mortality ages ago. I don’t believe it’s ever bothered me.

    Cancer, however, is more than just mortality, especially for women. There is the loss of hair, the loss of a breast, the weakness, the expensive chemotherapy etc etc

    My heart problems would likely knock me out in a minute or so. Cancer is a long, expensive, painful way out.

    I do hope your friend pulls through. All the best to you both!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Alexis. You are correct. Cancer is a whole different ball game that mist people believe they enter already on the defeated side. It is no easy, and i just have to be patient.


  2. People process life altering changes differently. I’m glad your friend has you to lean on when needed. I hope the best for your friend.

    Liked by 1 person

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