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I Hate Cancer

Last week was a tough one. My neighbor, David is a young 82-year-old. He’s tall lanky and bold, not afraid to express his opinion. He’s never let a cigarette touch his lips, and has probably drank less than a bottle of wine in his entire life. A few months ago, David noticed his right arm was feeling odd. It was tingling and falling asleep. He went to see his family doctor who suggested it was probably a pinched nerve in his shoulder. A few weeks later, after physio, the symptoms got worse; he was losing the feeling in his arm. His doctor referred him to a specialist. After a thorough examination, X-rays, and an ultrasound a tumor was discovered close to his armpit. A subsequent biopsy proved to be positive. David had cancer.

I tried to reassure him

When he told me about the diagnosis, he had lost all the feeling in his right arm. It was paralyzed. We sat and talked about what he was going through on a number of occasions, and he was obviously upset and scared. I tried to be positive and reassure him that with today’s treatments, he would likely be okay and look back on this as a bump in the road. But his oncologist told him that the tumor was in a precarious position. It was located where major nerves and muscles came together, and because of that, they wouldn’t be able to remove it and his arm would be permanently useless. This was devastating news for David; he’s right-handed.

He was optimistic after radiation

His medical team decided the best course of action to take immediately was radiation to try and shrink the tumor, 25 days straight stopping only for weekends. David came through the treatments with flying colors, he even managed to put on a few of the 25 pounds he’d previously lost. He was optimistic.

His wife’s grief

David’s wife Carol was beside herself; the couple had been together for over 40 years, and she just couldn’t bear the thought of losing him. I tried on numerous times to convince her to stay in the moment and not to look too far ahead. It was very tough for her.

The CAT scan didn’t look good

A week after the radiation treatments stopped, David had a CAT scan to see what was happening with the tumor; they also checked the rest of his body. The news was not good. The tumor was the same size, and it was revealed that the cancer had spread to his lungs. In his words, “it didn’t look good.”

I sat speechless

By nature, I have a positive attitude; it was that attitude that helped me through my eight-year fight with bladder cancer. I simply refused to give up. It was very hard for me to be upbeat when David shared his latest news. In fact, I was gutted. I sat there, speechless, as tears rolled down his face. I just didn’t have the words. so all I said was “I’m not much for Prayer David, but my thoughts are with you.”

I hate cancer

I gave him a hug, and he went home. He’s scheduled for a meeting with his surgeon and oncologist next week to determine the best course of action. If you feel something isn’t right with your body, PLEASE check it out. Don’t wait.

I hate cancer.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.