On Jan 18, 2012, at 10:49 AM, a colleague wrote:
The word “cure” means an illness is over for good. At this point in time, cancer is never really over. The passage of time simply reduces the chance of recurrence, but it never completely eliminates it. Nor does it preclude a person from contracting a different type of cancer. Nonetheless we are breathing easier now [that the tests are positive].
[To which I replied.]
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
[And then added a note and hope.]
Footnote It’s strange, really, how the language around cancer in our society is all about battling, eradicating, killing, and the like. In the first person, prostate cancer, at least, is just a number on a scale or an anomalous lump in an exam, followed by some course of treatment or another that usually keeps the overzealous, chaotic cells at bay. Living with cancer can be like peaceful coexistence. (I’ve been incredibly lucky to be properly treated, well cared for, and free from pain or debilitating side effects from the PC that lives in me. I too breath easier—16 years post-surgery—always aware of my role as observer and manager of an armistice that requires due diligence and defensive living.)
Prayer Friends, I pray for the strength of spirit and selfhood that is clear-eyed and open-hearted about all three: contingency, gratitude, and grace.