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Midway (part-1)

Updated on November 15, 2012

I hate layovers, except when they occur at airports like Midway International in Chicago. I don't know if it's the food, or the pubs, or the sheer unairportness of this little rest stop that makes me wander patiently. Midway feels less like one of those little life purgatories that we have to endure on our way to our real lives, and more like a little something nice on the way to something nicer. I was walking by the pub 'Reilly's daugher," I smelled something sweet in the air coming from a shop close by, and something about this combination made me think of the the text message that I had once received that said, "I hav cancer," exactly like this, and I remembered I needed to take the time to write this.

For those who have not had this type of news from someone they loved, I hope that never happens to you. When someone you care for gives you this type of news what you WANT to do is fall all over them in the kind of sloppy, irrational love of the drunk girl at the party. You want to fight it with them, and odds are, you'd fight it for them if you could. What you ACTUALLY do is listen, sit on your hands a bit, and wait to find out what they really want or need from you. You research. You pray.

I'm a nurse, but nothing I put in this hub can't be googled. We're all up to our gills in information, and it is more accessible then ever these days. I hand out pamphlets on one thing or another in health all day, and most of it litters a can before the day is over. So why not do this differently? Information is good, but love is better. What I've learned is that what most people facing a cancer diagnosis want most from their loved ones is for them to be healthy. Of course they want and need the support of those they love, but they want you to take care of yourself. They are happy to have you visit them in the hospital, not join them. I say this cautiously, however, because I believe that the Judeo-Christian background that so many of us have leads to senseless blaming, and finger-pointing when it comes to disease process. Many are more concerned with the why and how, and the "I didn't exercise enough" then they are about the treatment plan for their disease. This strange kind of self-deprecation has no place in medicine, and really, it has not place in the Judeo-Christian background either.

Eat right, exercisie, don't smoke, drink water, sleep, manage stress well--nothing new. Oftentimes, particularly in breast and testicular cancer, a person discovers their own tumors. The difference between finding this cancer early, or even midway, and stage four or terminal cancer can be something as simple as doing regular, monthly exams. I talk to women and men openly about this, and have found most don't, or won't do monthly exams. Why is that? It takes minutes. You can't be a hero to anyone else if you're not first your own hero. There's a reason why they tell you on an airplane to put your own oxygen mask on first before you help someone else with their's. You'll help a lot more people if you're conscious. Do these exams. Please.

I'm posting resources in the form of links.


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    • ahostagesituation profile image

      SJ 6 years ago

      Thank you for reading, Brent. :-). Someone smart once said, 'no tears from the writer, no tears from the reader.'. I'm sorry for the reminder of your loss, and the loss itself.

    • profile image

      quikbrownxof 6 years ago

      Wow, this one brought a tear to my eye. I don't hate many things but I do hate it when I'm reminded of this. Nice writing. It made me think....then there were eight. I lost my brother to cancer so this hits home. Glad I didn't read it with anyone in the room.

    • ahostagesituation profile image

      SJ 7 years ago

      always exploring....right on! Thanks, nurse approval rules! thanks for reading!

    • ahostagesituation profile image

      SJ 7 years ago

      I'm so sorry for for her suffering, and for your loss. That had to be really really tough on you, that's a hard loss, and a hard thing to watch someone go through. I think faced with the grueling treatment that occurs once cancer had been found, everyone has to make the decision that works best for them. I wouldn't judge it. I love, love life, and it would be hard for me to sacrifice what remained of my life to what I know the treatment to be, would be a tough decision for me as an individual. Either way, I'm really sorry she had to go throught this, and i'm sorry you had to watch.

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 7 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      Some people's reaction to lumps is to deny their very existence. My mother developed a lump in her groin area many years ago, but chose to ignore it. I visited her from college and accidentally spotted it, much to her dismay.

      I was frantic and phoned her doctor immediately. Obviously she had been aware of this tumor for weeks or months, but did not want to face it.

      Yes, it was cancer-lymphoma. And yes, it was malignant. My mom underwent years of painful and debilitating treatment, SJ, and I do understand her resistance to the reality. She passed after a long battle with the disease, but to this day I wonder if it would have been kinder to let her deny it.

      As a nurse, you probably think I'm a bit mad, but my mom knew she was dying then and there. Treatment was a nightmare.

      Beautifully written, and thanks.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 7 years ago from Southern Illinois