Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Courage and Cancer

My mother had breast cancer when she was in her 40s.  A life-long smoker, whe ended up getting lung cancer, which, after a long battle, claimed her life on New Years Eve of 1998.  Her father, sister and brother also died of lung cancer and another brother survived lung cancer.  A friend died of liver cancer.  Now my wife, Kate, is battling Stage IV breast cancer.

I recall not too long ago a series of letters to the editor being published in the Ottawa Citizen (which I can't seem to find in their online archive) about whether the term "battle" is the right word with respect to coping with illness.  In my book, anyone who is touched by cancer has earned the right to call it a battle or a cakewalk or whatever else they want to call it.

Whatever one chooses to call how they deal with the disease, I can assure you that many face it with courage.  Kate is an ideal example.  She remains in relatively good spirits despite being in either constant pain or asleep because of the pain medication.  She continues to be a loving and supportive wife and an amazing mother.  Even though her family, friends, medical staff and I are with her and helping and supporting her in any way we can, the disease is in her body alone.  I imagine that could be a lonely feeling and dealing with it requires courage and strength.  I love Kate, but I also admire her resolve in this battle.


  1. Unfortunately too many "Cancer" posts today. Just lost my brother to it as well.

    The Other Side
    The Freedom of Nonbelief

  2. Hello Geoff,

    What a great post on a sensitive topic. I will definitely be back to see what you dream up for the other letters, and to read more of your lovely writing. I am following now.

    My mother has stage 4 breast cancer (2 years now) and I would call it a "hurdle" more than a "battle" in her case. She is homebound, and I consider the word "battle" to be one with swords and such. That is just me. Not sure what she would say!

    I am doing the A to Z Challenge as well. Take a peek at my blog too if you get a chance. It is a travel theme:


  3. Whoa...that was a tough read. My heart goes out for your lovely wife, and those that love her. This is a tough battle and the troops need to rally and remain strong. I will hold Kate in talks with the universe and send thoughts of good health her way.

    Very moving "C" post.

    Jenny @ Pearson Report
    Co-Host of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

  4. I agree with you completely, Geoff. Anyone who faces cancer earns the right to call it whatever they want.

    I hope Kate is doing well and that she makes a full recovery.