by thoughtsatlarge

CancerI am so tired of fighting (and losing to) cancer. First it came for my wife, and we moved cross country to fight it. Then it came for my father, and all we could do was poorly manage his pain until he succumbed to it. After fighting for seven years, my wife died in September. Now it is taking my dog, who’s already fought it twice before. What kind of insidious disease comes after a dog? There is no rationale, no justice, and no God. How could God allow my father to suffer so much? How could God steal my wife’s future? How could God punish a dog with three different types of cancer? If there is a god, he’s either feckless or belligerent. This is my version of Pascal’s gambit. If there is a god, he’s malicious. If there isn’t then, chaos theory reigns and so it goes. Those are the only two choices. There is no beneficent God. There is no evidence to support believing in one.

I can’t remember the last “normal” day we had. Every day for the past seven plus years has been lived in the shadow of cancer. The president talks of a “moon shot” program to cure cancer. I don’t believe it will ever happen. Nature is too wily. Nature will always one up science. And we still know so little about it. I think doctors know that they know so little, and I think what they still don’t know they don’t know could fill a football stadium. We are nowhere near curing cancer. I’ve read Siddhartha Mukherjee’s Emperor of All Maladies, Susan Sontag’s Illness as Metaphor, Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking, Elizabeth Kübler-Ross’ On Death and Dying, and Christopher Hitchens’ Mortality. The only thing in common amongst these books is that we suffer pain and die. Treatment and cure are fantasy.

I am angry, livid, more enraged than sad, more angry than tired. I miss my father. I miss my wife. I can only watch as my dog suffers the painful effects of his squamous cell carcinoma. That’s a fancy name for something that will not kill him, but will force us to euthanize him within the next month or so while causing him extreme pain in his jaw and mouth. Again, what could he have possibly done to deserve this? Fuck cancer. Fuck God. Fuck me.