Wednesday, March 21, 2012

There is nothing good to say about cancer.

It's been tough times lately in the Pea household. I haven't had much to say about knitting or my garden, so I haven't been posting here.

But I do have a lot of other stuff on my mind, and probably none of it is foreign to any of you, so maybe I will say something about it.

This is my first up-close experience with cancer treatment. Going through this yourself, or with a loved one, is the last thing that anyone should ever have to do.

I hate that my Dad has to go through this. I hate what it does to my poor Mom. I hate cancer. I hate chemotherapy. I'm angry at the whole world. I'm especially angry at industries who pump cancer-causing pollutants into our air and water and say it's too expensive to do things differently. You know what's really too expensive? Cancer treatment. In every conceivable way. Too expensive.

So I am full of anger and frustration.

I'm also full of sadness, as you can imagine. I can't say more about that now, because I don't feel like crying in public and I'm writing this post on the train.

Here's something good that I have to say: If you have lived a good life and been kind and generous with others, it is amazing how kind and generous they will be with you when you need it.

My Dad is my hero. I have always admired and emulated him. He is one of the kindest, funniest, most generous people you could meet. And now that he's going through the trial of his life, I am just overwhelmed at the kindness and generosity of our family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, old acquaintances... frankly, of the whole world. Karma is an amazing thing.

In the darkest moments, at the worst times, I feel spiritually and almost physically lifted up and buoyed along by the love of everyone around us. I have never experienced anything like this before. It reminds me of stories of drowning people pushed up to the surface by dolphins and somehow carried safely to shore. It's so beautiful and sustaining. I can't imagine how we (or anyone) could make it through a time like this without the support of friends.

All the same, I would rather not be experiencing it. I would rather be enjoying this beautiful spring, which is somehow bursting with life and beauty even though it seems more like the world should be ending right now. I would rather be building new garden beds, working with my Dad on home fixer-up projects, or learning to use the spinning wheel that a dear friend lent me recently. I would rather be taking the Little Pea on visits to the playground, instead of the hospital.

When people write stuff about cancer, I think they usually are supposed to put a positive spin on the whole thing, like about the amazing life lessons that cancer taught them. Or what they learned about themselves while going through hell. I have learned a lot of stuff that on the whole, I think I'd be just as well off without knowing. I didn't want to know what I know now about chemo, and all its various complications. I don't have anything good to say about cancer. Not one good thing.