5 Oct 2012

The 'C' Word

Right now, you're probably wondering what the hell I'm on about. What words could begin with C? Lots of words, like cow and cat, and lots of other animals too. Unfortunately, this post isn't going to be as humorous as a lolcat, nor is it going to be delicious like a medium-rare cow. Today's post is actually going to be quite serious, despite the initial intro. You see, a week ago my mother was taken into hospital to have some tests done. The results came back today. It's cancer.

I guess at first I was in shock. It was always a possibility, but it wasn't something I had prepared myself for. Given that she's always been a smoker, I wasn't particularly surprised, but still I couldn't bring myself to feel anything in the moment the words reached my ears. Even now, a couple of hours later I'm still not sure how to feel. I want to stay positive, because it's been detected now. That's a good thing. Treatments have gotten better, and the survival rate is far higher than it used to be. I haven't been told the prognosis yet, so for all I know everything could be fine. It could be in the very early stages. But then again, it may not be. So much is unknown right now, that I'm kinda stuck in the middle of being hopeful and preparing for the worst.

All this because of a little white stick that people like to put into their mouths. It's quite mind boggling when you're finally confronted with the reality of it. I'm not a smoker, so I don't see the appeal. Hey, suck on this and you'll be cool and it'll help you relax... until thirty years down the line you're in a hospital bed, feeling like shit, having to deal with crap hospital food, and then have the doctor say you have cancer.

Does smoking really feel that good? So good that it's worth the risks later on in life? Is it worth having a lung removed because it became cancerous? Having your hair fall out from the chemotherapy? Coughing up blood, being out of breath constantly? How about the emotional distress it's going to cause everyone around you while they have to watch you go through the treatment and wondering if you're going to survive? And then when you do survive, what about the fear of a relapse?

Doesn't seem like it would be worth it to me. I'm not going to be the person who constantly berates smokers for their actions, but I will say this. Just think about it for a moment. Think about your friends and family. You're not just hurting yourself with every drag of that cigarette, you're setting everyone around you up for one hell of an emotional rollercoaster. You see, they don't need to breathe the smoke to be affected by it. And if you're still prepared to put them, and yourself, through all that, then go ahead and have another smoke. Just don't be that person who thinks it will never happen to you.


Barb said...

Sorry about your mom. I'm a nurse and daily see the long term effects of smoking, as well as many other addictions. Try and stay positive and make the most of your time together whether it's a week or another 10 years!

Anonymous said...

The thing is that the smokers know that their friends and families ant them to stop smoking but most of them don't have the will strong enough to do it. My aunt was diagnosed in April 2010 and it was too late for the treatment. She died 7 months later. Those seven months was the only time I've seen her without a cigarette. She tried to quit smoking several times but she failed. I hope your mum has still many years to live. Just as Barb said - stay positive and hope for the best.

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