Friday, October 14, 2011

Cancer and the Sword of Damocles

PreScript - buy this shirt - band back together is a great website and cause. 
Plus, Aunt Becky rules.
Let me just say, cancer is bullshit.

My wife is a cancer survivor.  You can read more about it on my first blog (re)post here: Horror Show.  The short(ish) story of it is thus: 8 months or so after we were married, my wife was diagnosed with malignant melanoma (a typically deadly form of skin cancer), the same cancer her father died of 6 months before.  Very scary. She had surgery and has been cancer free for 5 years now.  Unlike cancer, being a cancer survivor is awesome.

Sword of Damocles, 1812, oil painting on canvas. Richard Westall

But, the trauma of having cancer takes it toll.  I liken it to the parable of the Sword of Damocles.   Damocles was a bit of a brown noser back in Greece in the day, and was sucking up to his king, saying how lucky the king was to be surrounded with so much beauty, wealth, and wisdom.  His king asked him if he wanted to change places and Damocles jumped at it.  The king gave up his royal throne to Damocles.  The catch was that the wise king hung a sword above the throne, suspended point down by only a thin hair.  Damocles soon begged the king to trade back.

So, kicking cancer's ass is great.  But that nagging feeling is always with my wife that it will come back.  That sword is always hanging over her.  Every day.  Anything that is out of the ordinary for her body results in an evening of worry and a trip to the doctor the next morning.  She is worried about leaving me to raise 2 kids alone.  Leaving her kids motherless.  It is hard on her.  Really hard on her.

For me, it is stress.  She gets worked up, I try to remain calm, try not to worry.  Just last night, she found a lump in her shoulder.  It was like a big, inflamed lymph node on top of her shoulder.  Crazy lymph nodes is a sign of cancer.  My wife was freaking out.  All last night.  I was freaking out, but I couldn't show it.  Plus I have to be the voice of reason and try and tell her not to worry, we don't know what the hell it could be.  Also, I usually need time to digest things and understand where I fall with them and how I want to deal with them.  When things are sprung on me, I typically am not very comforting.  I usually need to sleep on them, let both my conscious and subconscious minds gnaw on it for a while, before I feel at ease to talk about it and deal with it.

So, Beautiful Wife went to the doctor this morning.  Well, it turns out to be a very normal thing.  A Lipoma - a fatty, benign tumor.  About 1% of the population has them and they are typically not treated unless they start to cause problems or start growing rapidly.

So, the sword hasn't fallen, but it is sure still hanging up there...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...