Saturday, March 26, 2011

When death is an option

Cancer is a fear monger. It appears when least expected and changes lives in unseen ways.

Warrior of Courage is a term that best describes a person diagnosed with cancer. The battle for life is an extensive challenge. The Warrior of Courage goes through test after test to determine the type of cancer and where is it in the body. The test results determine if it is contained to one area or is it in several areas of the body. The tests will also determine the type of weapons needed to kill the cancer that is working to kill the warrior of courage. The weapons of western medicine are surgery, radiation, chemotherapy. Eastern healing methods include massage, Reiki, acupuncture, mediation and guided imagery.

The Warrior of Courage must choose their weapons wisely because there is no guarantee that they will work to destroy the cancer that is destroying the Warrior. Medical, emotional and mental testing becomes a new part of life. The medical tests are used during diagnosis, during treatment and then after treatment to see if the cancer is really conquered and to look for reoccurrence. With each test brings the emotional and mental testing of holding one’s breath until the results are in. Waiting for the next phone call with good news and hopefully becoming a member of the survivor’s club.

The courage it takes to make all the decisions in this warfare is tremendous. The courage to say yes to each test and wait  to hear the results and then say yes to the next test and again wait to hear the results takes the strength and determination of a warrior. The courage to say yes to surgery with the hope for an ending of the battle and the possibility to regain normalcy in life is courage that is found on the battle grounds of war. And the courage to live with the thought of never knowing when the cancer will raise its ugly head again and wondering if there is fight and courage left to go through it all over again. This is when death may become an option to the Warrior of Courage. And may very well be the better option in the battle.

Western and Eastern medicine can only take the Warrior of Courage so far in the battle. The courage to say no to the next test, treatment and waiting is also tremendous.  It takes this courage to say yes to pain and suffering the cancer brings as it destroys vital organs. And it takes this courage to look death in the face and know that it is the right choice because the battle is over and the cancer has won.

The Warrior of Courage has the choice to fight or surrender. It is those around the Warrior of Courage who must provide the love, care, support and encouragement that will make that choice as successful as possible.