Both Sides Now

Looking Back Through Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell. Great song for this old hippie guitar man. For my purposes today let's substitute cancer for clouds.

Think it applies to me today as I try to adjust to looking at cancer from a different side today. No longer from living the journey with cancer but seeing a dear, dear loved one walk with cancer and its devastating effect on her, my precious daughter.

She's my firstborn, my heart, and is a full-grown woman with two teens of her own now. I remember her as the smiling laughing baby screaming "Dada! Dada!" from her little baby walker up to see me when I came home from work each day.

I know the battle with cancer

I am a crusty old veteran of multiple cancers. Bladder cancer - lightweight, prostate cancer - heavyweight champ.

Been wrestling with cancer for over thirteen years now. Certainly, cannot lie about how hard it can be going through the process of discovery to recovery and managing each disease.

It's easy to get self-focused. To be so caught up in your problems and challenges you forget you are dragging those you love along with you.

My wife and family and friends did not choose to jump into cancer with me. They just had to go for the ride. Easy right? Compared to the actual pain of the patient.

Dammit, it's hard looking at cancer from the outside!

Seeing her go through breast cancer is incredibly painful for me. I always figured I earned my cancers from a lifetime of bad choices - but, not my baby.

Mad does not cover my emotions. God said He would heal me, and He has. He also said my family and household would be protected as well. So, what gives God?

The painful witnessing of cancer caregivers

She had a one-side mastectomy with reconstructive surgery that took eight hours under the knife. She will need the other side removed in a few more weeks. She is asking for more pain meds to help with her intense discomfort.

I can't stand that there is nothing I can do right now for her other than hope that her seeing me fight through and survive will be enough to get her down the road. Still have faith that God will heal her too.

Again, looking from both sides, I know what she has ahead of her, and I know how incredibly hard it can be. I do plan to love her through her recovery. She knows that we are there for her.

When support and presence are enough

My wife asked me once what could she do for me as I was getting over surgery. Me being the gentle guy I am I said, "Not a darn thing."

All I needed was time to heal and it was enough to know she cared to hang around. Trusting that's the same for my daughter.

Caregivers are a blessing

Looking at cancer from both sides has entirely shifted my perspective. Caregivers are angels and what they do is amazing. I just did not have any idea of the emotional burden they too carry - tough folks with big hearts.

Much respect. Please pray for my daughter as she gears up for her fight.

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