“Cancer … ”
That’s what he said with a blank stare and a resignation in his voice that caught me off guard and left me speechless for a moment.
Wayne had been feeling ill for weeks. You could see that he was a very sick man even as he struggled to come to work and put a reasonably happy face on things. You could sense his frustration at the lack of answers. You could look at him and tell right away that he was getting worse, not better.
He’d gone through battery after battery of tests seeking to eliminate this, that, and the other. First it was his kidney function and trips to the urologist. Then it was pulmonary issues and treatment for pneumonia. Finally, a trip to the hospital for further tests got him admitted … and once admitted, got him assigned to ICU.
By the time I visited him, he had undergone a serious, but fairly routine surgical procedure designed to cleanse his lungs of the suspected infection, while also taking biopsies for suspicious looking spots that had shown up on x-ray.
In another week, he’d been told that he had cancer and that it was inoperable. He learned that he had, at most, weeks to live. There was no treatment for the malignancy that had apparently metastasized from his kidneys to his lungs.
A few days later, Wayne was deeply medicated and dependent on a ventilator.
Of all of the blessings we enjoy during our time on earth, is anything more valuable than our health?
Life can be a struggle in the best of circumstances.
Searching for happiness for yourself and trying to help others achieve it as well, can be a daunting task. It only becomes harder when one’s health is compromised.
Good health is something to be treasured and as we find out all too often, it’s not something that can be taken for granted.
Whether you believe it is a gift from God, or just the luck of the draw, when you witness just how fragile our health can be and how quickly we can switch from joy to sadness it gives you pause.
A few weeks ago, Wayne and his wife were looking forward to their next motorcycle trip with their friends and the next visit from their children and grandchildren that they adore and who adore them.
Now, friends and family are coming to the hospital to see him one last time.
They know Wayne is going home soon …