Cancer Sucks…

Hi all…

On March 14th, I was hit by the news that one of my best friends from college was diagnosed with lymphoma. It literally knocked the wind out of me, so I can’t imagine what his mind is like at the moment. I crashed into one heck of a downward spiral for about 12 hours. The next day, I was able to keep moving for one simple reason… I had to.

ZenIt’s funny (as much as any of this can be thought of as funny)… I spoke with another friend of mine from high school who lost his mother last year. Each holiday that passes has a different feeling now — and he must learn how to move on without her, yet knowing she’ll always be a part of him. He is a devout Catholic and puts his faith in the Catholic/Christian faith.

I have been telling myself for years that I am agnostic, but have recently found a lot to like about the Buddhist path, which isn’t really a revelation. The human spirit is and has always been amazing to me. We as a race are capable of such acts of beauty and at the same time capable of such violence and vile acts that it takes my breath away. Does love conquer all? I honestly don’t know. But a healthy respect for life and the thoughts and beliefs of others helps to get us through the world.

But even with such a philosophy, I have to wonder at why the world works the way it does. My friend with cancer is not a bad man. He’s had bad luck and good luck like all of us. He doesn’t deserve cancer. Nobody does. Even those we might think of as “bad” or “evil” don’t deserve cancer.

So with this thought, I’ve been struggling forward. Life is complicated. I have a wife and kids, a job, friends and family — I am rich in those respects (and poor in others, but money doesn’t solve the world’s ills — just ask Bill Gates). But through it all, I have to think that we will find a way. My friend is strong of spirit and if it’s at all physically possible, he will survive this latest trial. And that which we survive makes us and those around us stronger.

It’s not easy, but nothing worth doing ever is. I will support him in his time of need, even though he’s a distance away in California. He knows I’m here, wishing him the best. We’ll hope it’s enough to change the fabric of space and time so his doctors can work the miracles we are all hoping for.

Miracles need not be religious — they only need be faith-based. I have faith that science will one day solve the riddle of cancer and than mankind will beat it. And I have faith that my friend will survive this. May we all have such faith to help us carry on.

Thanks for listening.


  1. Thanks Monique. He’s not alone. Many good people are afflicted with cancer. And someday we’ll figure out how to defeat it. In the meantime, the best we can do is keep hope alive and support cancer patients, survivors, and researchers.

  2. Check out “When Bad Things Happen to Good People” by Harold S. Kushner. I try to read one of his many books every year or two. It helps to put things into IPerspectiveDescriptor.

  3. Thanks David. I’ll have to do that. I’ve heard of the book, but have never read it.

  4. My thoughts go out to you, your friend and his family. It was quite the shock for me to hear about the news back on the 14th, even though I only really met him once.

    It is my fervent hope that mankind finds ways to make a lot of nasty diseases a thing of the past. And for nasties like cancer, it can’t happen too soon!

    Faith is a very large topic whether one is agnostic or considers themselves a member of a particular religion/philosphy. It is fascinating to think of what the impact of faith has on one’s own life, the lives of those around them, and society as a whole.

  5. Sorry to hear about your friend. I know several people who survived lymphoma. It is one of the more curable cancers although all are deadly and devastating.

    Side note, since you spoke about faith. Read Ecclesiastes- in the Old Testament, Christian Bible. It says there that bad things happen to good people … we live in a fallen world. If all were right with this world, there would be no need for God to save it.

  6. I heard yesterday from my friend and he does have confirmed lymphoma, but it’s a non-Hodgkins variety and they think very curable with chemotherapy. So it was good news.

    I want to thank everyone who has provided good thoughts. It’s a rough process to go through for the patient as well as family and friends. And more than anything else I think it’s my faith in the unerring capacity for people to do amazing and horrible things that helps me in these rough times. We are stronger than anyone gives us credit for sometimes.

    Bad things do happen to good people. It’s the way of the world. We just have to do the best we can and soldier on.

    Thanks again!

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