If you fear it, that is.
The fundamental fear (my fundamental fear) comes from feeling that cancer is a monster that will just materialise overnight and take over my life. It’s irrational, I know.
I think I’ve read somewhere that the body produces cancer cells all the time, but most times the body’s self-defence mechanisms are able to kill off the cancer, before it’s out of control. Well that’s good. Good on ya body!
But I’ve read a couple of books by Sherwin Nuland, an American MD, whose prose on the mystery of the body is not only informative, but elegant, and very understandable; and he’s illustrated what happens (in his book How We Die) when cancer gets out of control, and most importantly what can be done about it.
In lots of ways, I can’t stop it happening – my body will do it’s best – but it’s how I confront cancer that will make the difference. And confronting it is what I need to do. I always take measures, such as sun protection cream, and a hat, and eating plenty of fruit and veg, and getting daily exercise, and having regular appointments with my dermatologist, and so on, and so forth.
Cancer is a bugger if I let it. Dealing with it is being matter of fact. And people who have the resilience to cope with serious change in their lives tackle the change in a matter of fact way. “OK, shit has happened, what do I need to do now, how can you help me deal with this?” And don’t forget the life that’s going on around you as well. I am more than the sum of woes, difficulties, and ailments I am experiencing.
So, sometime in the next couple of weeks I’m going to have a conversation with my Dad about palliative care; not mine, it’s for him.
He’s at the crossroads with the treatment he’s having for throat cancer, go on with it, or change tack, that is the question.
I’ll keep you posted.