癌症, the damned cancer
Sometimes I do wonder how can life be so fragile. One day you saw and talked to the person, and the other day you were told that the person had passed away. Nobody can seem to control his/her own destiny.
One afternoon, my colleague M stopped by my office and asked “got a minute?”
“Ya, what’s up?” I said.
“Did you hear from others about my situation?” he asked.
“No, I don’t usually go around chitchatting with others, what happened” I asked.
“I got cancer, and I am glad you are hearing from me. If you don’t see me around you know why”.
“What?? My god, oh I am so sorry. When did you know about this” I was so shocked.
“I found out it about a week ago and don’t know what are the causes” he said.
“What made you suspect about it and what kind of cancer?” I asked.
“When I shave I feel a pump on my neck, and doctor confirmed it is cancerous”. He then asked me to touch the pump. I could see the bump on his neck and felt a little scared to touch it, but still touched it gently anyway.
He continued and joked “doctor said the cancer is curable, but my quality of life will be lower because I will probably be on liquid diet and can’t have steak anymore”.
“It is good that it is curable” and “you can still have good life and can eat more of your favorite ma-po tofu though”. I know he really likes the spicy tofu.
As he left my office, all I can said to him: “take good care of yourself”.
M is a very nice guy and still young. He is doing quite well holding a pretty senior position in the scientific ladder, and his wife has higher title than him in the managerial ladder. In addition to his busy work, He has two kids to take care. Usually he is the one who takes them to school, to doctor visits and to other activities. Sometimes I joke about him “Mr. Mom”. Their household income is properly ranked at the top 1% in the US. So are they rich? I guess so but should be among the working riches. They are like every hard working ordinary people coming to work every day just with much more demanding responsibilities, and then go back home to cook, to take care of the family. It is not trivial for both to have successful careers and raise a family. He probably has sacrificed a lot to juggle the family and career.
Based on some cancer patients’ life journey, sometimes I come up my own theory (not confirmed) that chronic stress or the underlying stress that’s not even being recognized is the main cause for the cancer among younger people.
Life can be short and fragile. Although I can’t totally control my fate, I should not worry about the things that I can’t control, but do the things that I can control such that to have right attitude towards different things in order to make myself happier and less stressed.
Pray for M and hope everything goes well with him.