Cancer is nasty, tricky and unrelentless. I have dealt with cancer in my life in one form or another, in many different people. it seems to persistent for sure in all the cases I have seen.
The first time I saw cancer was my grandfather, my mothers dad. he died of it in 1971, I was 15 years old then. He died in a Nursing home in Waterbury, Connecticut. The man was 71 years old and had prostate cancer.
The next time I heard cancer, it had infected the first girl I had ever kissed! She was 18 when it hit her, and it took her life, but not until she reached 61 years old. She fought it all the time, and no matter what through it all she smiled, she laughed and she prayed. It was a slow death for her, for it took so many years to finally take her. She loved music, and her church and her children and her pets and plants.
Next time I heard cancer was in 1984. I received a call from New Jersey. My real father had cancer and had died of lung cancer. He smoked like a chimney and I believe that is how he got it. In the end he left 9 kids behind when he died and a second wife. The first two were my elder brother and I, from his first wife and the next 7 from his second wife. I barely knew the man really, I met him twice actually. But cancer doesn’t care once it has someone it keeps at them.
Cancer would not leave my life it seems, the next time cancer raised it’s ugly head was in 1990 six years after my real father died, it took my stepfather. He died of lung cancer also, he smoked two packs of Winston Cigarettes per day. He was diagnosed in January of 1990, he died in October of 1990, yes 10 months later. It was shock to me and everyone who knew him, he went from 6 foot 1 inch, 280 lbs, to practically nothing when he died. The cancer ate him up.
One year and one day later in October of 1991, cancer took my mother also. Again, another one who smoked two packs of Winston’s a day. She died in my kid sister’s home exactly one year and a day after her husband. In the end we had them buried together in one grave for eternity.
Like I said though cancer never quits. it keeps going from one human body to the next and the next and it even gets cats and dogs too, and other animals. We had two cats die of cancer in the 1990s, in our home.
Cancer keeps coming and poping up for sure. 2006, it hit my second wife, breast cancer. we fought it with radiation, chemo and an operation. she was 66 years old. We went through Doctor after Doctor and fought it, with removal of all of her lymph nodes under her left arm. Then radiation and chemo treatments, finally sent it into remission in 2007. She slowly recovered of course as I watched her closely.
It wasn’t done though cancer, in 2006 I made a deal with my wife to quit smoking myself, I tried many times until I finally got Chantix and did quit. But, seven years after I quit cancer came visiting again. I was put in a survey at the Veteran’s Hospital and through a Pet Scan, my right lung lit up, showing cancer in my right lung. A month after being found, I had an operation and I lost one lobe and a third of another, to cancer. I recovered well and am still here today in 2019 that six years later and counting. I was lucky.
Yet, as I said before, cancer does not quit, in 2015, January, 8 years after beating her cancer into remission, my wife had it come roaring back. Her breast cancer went from her breast, to her bones. It has spread now into her sternum, her spine, her rib cage and more.
Radiation treatments to stop the spread were first. Then chemo treatments began, three out of four thursdays a month. They gave her epcid, decadron and then taxial to fight it. We have been going since they found it, Doctor after Doctor, appointment after appointment, we fight.
It is now April 2019, we went last Thursday for her chemo once more, and we got surprised. The Doctor changed her from taxial to Immunial Therapy, the taxial is not working any more for her. When we started in 2015, I asked how long such drugs would work and hold off the cancer, I was told 3 to 5 years. Well add it up folks 2015 to 1019, 4 plus years, and now onto the new Immunial Therapy drugs and nothing else. Her recent scans, showed that the taxi was no longer working and that lymph nodes grew back that were removed. The Doctor said one that grew back was enlarged now. So, what is next we know not.
She was given the new drugs, and we have to go back for another treatment in two weeks and see where we go from here.
Cancer seems to follow me and us as a couple. sadly. During the same time period we lost her first husband to prostate cancer also. We wait, and we hope and we pray, what more can one do, now a day!