Tuesday, March 21, 2017

cancer is awful

I found out this morning that a former fellow-congregant- he and his wife were friends of mine because we both taught at the university - has lung cancer.

A couple years ago they moved up north to be closer to grandkids (they both retired during the time I knew them, this was in the cards). And then Ken was diagnosed just recently.

I feel sad about this: as I said, I liked both of them and we had stuff in common. And Ken was the "on-campus external" (i.e.: faculty member not in my department) on my promotions committee for Full Professor. Also, they had reassured me about a lot of stuff, that either a lot of the stuff I saw and wondered "Is this crazy or am I" was that "this is crazy" or they also told me there had been even WORSE budget times than 2016, and just to hang on, things would get better.

He's always had lung issues (was a smoker when younger) but this is really not good.

I feel sad over this. And it was hard today to do review in class - this was the majors-intro-bio and the exam they have later this week covers the section on the development and spread of cancer (on a cellular/tissue level). I managed to hold it together okay in class but if I had thought much harder about it, I wouldn't have.

(I also think of the times when my close family member was undergoing treatment, how hard that spring it was to go through the whole cancer section and more than once I had to just stop and take a breath - for a while I was carrying a glass of water to class with me, not because I needed a drink, but because being able to stop and pause when the feels got to be a little much helped me. And I think of how it was kind of difficult to talk about translocations and the Philadelphia chromosome when I knew someone - who has since died - who was undergoing treatment for CML).

Ugh. Cancer sucks.

(I was worried for a bit last week when my dad, who is 82, told me the new GI doc he was going to had prescribed a colonoscopy. I didn't SAY anything, but I thought, "Wow, they must think something is wrong, because normally in someone my dad's age they don't do screening ones." Turns out the doc was being overzealous and after my dad consulted with his GP, the conclusion was there was no need for one, and that a less-invasive screening test should be done first. I had an aunt who had colon cancer and had to do the whole round of extensive surgery and chemo, but she was on the other side of the family... and she was having symptoms before she was diagnosed)

1 comment:

purlewe said...

I am so sorry. that really stinks. I bet they would appreciate hearing from you right now.