Fighting Words

Cancer v. Hospice

She has a tumor.
It is malignant.
We got most of it.
Radiation should get the rest.
These are sentences that smack us in the face.
We duck.
We clench up.
We ready for the fight.
Either by being in someone’s corner after each round
Or by taking the blows ourselves.
This is the beginning of the fight and we don’t know how many rounds it will go.

Hospice has been called in.
No more doctors will be called.
She won’t be going to the hospital anymore.
Put the DNR on the fridge; that’s where we look for it.
These are sentences that punch us in the gut.
They abandon us
Cut us adrift
Make us tremble
Leave us each to our own mortal fate.
This is the end of the fight and we don’t know how many rounds it go.

Lindsey Lane
April 2009

One Response to “Fighting Words”

  1. Andy Long

    Gut wrenching comments one and all! It seems we cruise through life believing there is no end… then something jumps out and slaps us hard. As children we never conceive the idea that our parents, as all those before, will someday move beyond our physical reach. Yet the inevitable arrives all to soon.
    We think the worst part is the loss of that physical being we love and call mom or dad. In reality the most difficult part is watching them suffer through a long illness or trauma. The end becomes a blessing, a relief to their suffering, and a chance for us to shift the focus from our own pain to the happiness of their relief.
    Knowing and believing they continue with us is vital. Knowing and believing they are in our hearts and memories is vital. Recognizing they are in us, in every moral and ethical belief, in the way we speak, the way we treat others, in the things we hold most dear in our lives… they put those beliefs there. They taught us those values and ways. They continue through us. It is our responsibility to live those beliefs and to pass them on to others whenever we can.
    We are them for the next generation. We pass the real being and spirit. The physical body will break and fall weak, but the inner being remains strong and lives on as long as we protect and nurture it.