Tuesday, March 27, 2007

On cancer

Today brings the bad news of Tony Snows worsening condition on top of Elizabeth Edwards battle with cancer.

It is odd how these type of things come in waves. My father in law, Tom, is in the last stages of his battle with cancer.

The rapidity with which he has declined is breathtaking. When I first met Tom there could have been no way to imagine him in his current condition. He has completed the Iron Man race. He has run literally hundreds of marathons up and down the west coast. He woke every morning and jogged at least 5 miles. Tom was also passionate about gardening. In other words, Tom was one of the most vital, and energetic people I have ever met.

He has been battling colon cancer for well over a decade but it really didn't slow him down. Year after year Tom still jogged, ran marathons, gardened and was the very picture of vitality. UNTIL the doctors told him that the cancer was untreatable.

That word came a couple of months ago, and Toms decline in health has been dramatic since then. Now he cant stand by himself. My mother has to escort him to the bathroom every 40 minutes or so 24/7. He can barely string 2 sentences together without becoming exausted.

I actually don't know where I'm going with this post. To be honest, Tom has had a long, full life so this isn't a call to join me in pity at his condition. He is living his final days surrounded by loved ones and free of pain. There are many more pitiful ways to leave the mortal plane. I guess what is getting me about this is how the entire issue of cancer seems to be raising it's ugly head.

Some day long after you and I are gone, mankind will be free of this scourge. That is a day which will be greeted with joy by all of humanity... liberal, conservative, religious, atheist, young and old.

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