Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Cancer Island

A reader of the blog that I've had the pleasure of exchanging emails with shared the following with me a few days ago and it rang so true for me I thought I would share it with everyone. The writer is another husband whose wife has faced breast cancer over the last year and he is writing in reference to my comments in another post about watching other's lives carrying on as normal while we're struggling to stay above water.

"We have called this being stranded on "Cancer Island ". I heard an interview from a cancer patient and he characterized it as living in a parallel universe in which those dealing with cancer can cross over to the world of their friends, but their friends can not cross into the cancer world. I thought that was a good way to describe it. I would add to this another dimension in which caregivers reside, hanging somewhere between the two. I think, at times, this can be the most lonely place to be."

Amen brother, Amen. This is the most short and concise description of how I, and we, feel that I've ever read.

I think the writer makes an astute observation in his last two sentences in the paragraph about caregivers. Don't take me wrong, I'm not groveling for more attention but, in the last few years studies have been conducted on caregivers of cancer patients and the results are eye opening concerning the physical and mental health of this population. Which brings up a point that I've mentioned before. Cancer doesn't just affect the individual family member, but the whole family as well. Including the physical and mental health of the family.

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