Saturday, December 21, 2013
A recent visit there with my husband who was getting a PET scan to shed light on his non-life-threatening condition brought back memories of when I drove my sister to the clinic for chemotherapy.
My sister was strong, resilient and optimistic. Her zest for living, adventurous spirit and curiosity were attributes that likely helped extend her life for years. But she eventually succumbed ... as did our eldest equally strong and resilient sister who passed away earlier, also as a consequence of cancer.
My thoughts were inevitably on health challenges and the struggle to keep hope alive as I walked down the hallway and glanced at the walls lined with heartfelt expressions from patients, their families and healthcare providers.
Russell Kelly died in 1997 at the age of 48. His career included hosting a CBC radio show. Among his accomplishments he campaigned to end violence against women and helped raise funds for a shelter for women in Vancouver. Looking at his many photographs and writings lining one side of the corridor wall, I was struck by his wonderment in the face of a dangerous illness. In Eternal Whisperings (above) he writes in part, "... despite cancer, serenity feeds my soul."
Kelly also writes, “Disasters and tragedy plague the best of humanity. Bad things happen to good people. Yet even suffering may yield ultimate good. Ordinary people – often with the aid of compassionate fellow-sufferers transcend their limitations, grow through sorrow, and begin life again.”
Interestingly, the search to cure cancer has generated one of the most successful fundraising operations in decades. Yet, by the looks of the packed clinic, more and more people are getting the disease. I was shocked to learn an estimated 75,500 deaths from cancer are expected to occur in Canada in 2013. Has anyone NOT been effected by this disease in some way? I suspect such high numbers are due to cancer-causing agents being woven into the fabric of the products we use every day and in the very air that we breathe. If that is true should not investigating and cleaning up the hazards be as essential as the hunt to cure something that could have been prevented?
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Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms