Tuesday’s Tribute: Cancer Patients

I know too many cancer patients. Everyone does. As I write this, my cousin is having surgery for prostate cancer, and tomorrow my aunt is having a mastectomy. Tomorrow is also the day I am signed up to bring dinner to my sister-in-law, who is recovering from the cancer surgery she had several weeks ago.

I cannot describe cancer better than other writers have already done. It is a plague, a terrorist, a thief. And yet, every day people with cancer wake up, do what they need to do, and even manage to laugh and smile.

Cancer is, unfortunately, a part of life for all of us. For cancer patients, it must be like a guest you didn’t invite to the party, who stays anyway and eats all the food and drinks all the wine and breaks your furniture. And yet, you maintain your dignity while doing whatever you can to get him to leave.

To my cousin, my aunt, and my sister-in-law — and to all of the cancer patients you know: when that rude person finally leaves the party, we’re going to celebrate and have a really good time. Until then, we’ll just follow him around and try to undo the damage he’s done. And we’ll keep laughing and smiling.

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