A Sad Story

I mean, I don’t even know where to begin with this story.  It completely shocked me.  It has to do with my place of employment and what one of my fellow employees is having to deal with right now.  This woman who I have worked with countless times, even on night shift, was diagnosed with a giant brain tumor covering half the side of her brain.  She was having trouble moving one whole side of her body, and a CAT scan revealed what was something that nobody ever wants to hear.  A big, giant brain tumor.  I can say I know how she feels, given I had a brain tumor and subsequent treatment, but I did not have a brain tumor anywhere near that size.  She is an older woman, in her mid 50s I assume, although she never directly told me how old she was.  She was one of the nicest people there, and my heart aches for her in so many ways.  This is yet another example that we never know what is going to happen to us until it actually happens.

I haven’t spoken with her yet, but I can imagine she is in shock.  Her husband supposedly came into the store yesterday and informed our store manager that she has this tumor and will not be coming back.  Thinking about this brings my eyes to tears because I know what it feels like to worry about what is going to happen to you when going through a serious illness that could ultimately kill you.  I, of course, didn’t have as severe a problem that she does, due to the size and effects of her tumor, but I certainly can empathize with how she must feel.  Out of everyone that works at my place of employment, I feel that I know the most what she is going through.  And I sure hope she fights that damn thing until it is eradicated.  And if she fails, she fails.  But fighting this battle is worth it, no matter the result.

Beating cancer or a tumor is something that survivors can share with other cancer patients.  The fact that we have beaten this terrible disease and lived to talk about it is a wonder in itself.  Not all cancers are as serious as brain cancer, but cancer in itself is a pathological being.  It ravages our healthy cells and grows and grows until we can stop it.  The only advantage to having a brain cancer is the fact that unless it gets into the spinal fluid, there is absolutely no chance it can get into the body.  However, body cancer can get into the brain.  So, it would seem that at least in her case, the situation is contained, most likely.  I don’t know all the details, but the outlook is probably not as optimistic as it was for myself.  Although my cancer was almost inoperable, we found a surgeon who could operate so deep into the brain and could at least find out what it was.  I’m sure it will be easier to operate on this woman’s tumor, but it will be much harder to repair the damage caused already.  I don’t really know what to say about this to her, except I want her to fight and do whatever it takes to survive.  You’ll learn how strong you are and how even something this serious won’t get you down.  But I truly don’t know how serious it is as of yet, other than the fact that it is covering one side of the brain and is affecting her nervous system.

I guess this is a lesson in the uncertainty of life and how you can be struck with something life-altering at any moment.  I know that from experience.  I just believe that those who can survive will survive and those who cannot bear their disease will ultimately die.  It all comes down to acceptance of your situation and deciding whether or not you wish to fight the good fight or give up.  Someone of my age at the time of my tumor (16), had every right to believe this would not be my undoing.  I knew I would make it out of this a stronger and better person.  But someone in their later years, who has lived a good life and has enjoyed good experiences and think that they don’t want to know what their life will be like after the good fight may end up just giving up.  It is truly up to the individual.  The result may differ, but choosing to fight or give up is something that very well may affect our results in a profound way.  Even in failure, at least we tried our best.

I was determined to rid my body of this tumor.  I hope that my co-worker has the same determination I had when faced with something that could have ultimately killed me.  You will be in my thoughts and prayers.  Best of luck to you.

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