yet another person we know being diagnosed with cancer. She went to the doctor feeling "a bit off". He did not like what he saw and sent her for tests. She has been given "weeks".
This was on top of being told someone else we know had already had surgery for "aggressive" breast cancer. Her son told us this over Easter. She starts chemotherapy this week.
My mother had stomach cancer. She had two lots of surgery but refused any other treatment. Her Christian Science upbringing meant she was opposed to it. I suspect she would have refused surgery had it not been for my father. I also wonder whether there was any point in it. It prolonged her life a few uncomfortable weeks.
There is someone else we know who has lung cancer. She never smoked but, like me and endless other people, she had to endure the second hand smoke of people who did use cigarettes. She is on a drug to try and shrink the tumour but there is another spot in another location. The treatment is expensive. There are side effects. She wants to see her granddaughter grow up and is hoping for a miracle - and why not?
Cancer seems to be more prevalent these days. Perhaps they are getting better at diagnosing it? I do not know. Survival rates seem to be increasing but there are still horrendous tales of what people will endure in an effort to survive. Yes, most of us fear death.
My father had a health scare too recently. His own doctor thought he might have breast cancer - yes, something men also can get. He had to wait a week for an appointment at the breast clinic. It would have been longer but his GP had marked him "urgent" she was so sure of her diagnosis. We worried of course. My nephew, the one in the final year of medicine, went with him. He was calm and sensible and would, I am sure, have handled bad news. He will make an excellent doctor.
As it was we were told that the problem was something quite different. It was rare. It was interesting. It was not cancer. It does not need to be treated but the doctor will watch it.
They rang me with the news and said they were going for a "celebratory cup of coffee" before coming home but, they added, "And we will think about the other people we know who are not so lucky".
I patted Pluto the cat and thought the same thing.