Wednesday, June 13, 2007

More on Cheyenne, Death and Cancer

Chey's funeral was yesterday. It was both heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time. Her father read the eulogy which was so heartwarming and there wasn't a dry eye around. I heard things about Cheyenne that I never knew - everything about her was truly beautiful. She had such a special soul. It appears that she knew for the last 3 months that she was going to die, which in some ways I find that to be a gift but in other ways, I found it incredibly sad. What a heavy burden for a young child to bear. I know that she worried about her mother, father and her younger sister. Even though she knew, she fought so hard until the end.

I hate cancer. I hate it so much and it is the most difficult thing to have so much anger towards something intangible. I hate it enough that it has invaded my body, but I hate it even more that it has ravaged the bodies of young children like Cheyenne, young children who have never even had the chance to become the people they would have become. Then there is survivors guilt, a very real thing. I feel it every time someone I know has yet again been taken out by this ugly disease. I'm so angry and I haven't yet found a positive outlet for my anger and grief. I end up bottling it up inside and then someone else dies, and the build up inside of me makes me more and more angry.

Then there are people. People who I suppose mean well, but so often say the most outrageous and clueless things at really inappropriate times. "Don't get attached." Um, don't get attached?! How can you not get attached to other human beings? How can you not hold the hand of a child who is dying and not get attached? Excuse me but the last I checked, I am human. I am a human being that feels empathy for other human beings. What kind of person would I be if I didn't get attached? What kind of nurse would that make me? There are enough people, enough nurses in this world who are detached. I refuse to allow that to happen to me. I suppose being removed from my mother at birth could have detached me, thankfully that didn't happen to me, because I wouldn't want to live that way. I wouldn't want to be a person who can't, or refuses, to feel for other people. Ok, can you tell that is a sore spot for me? I probably couldn't even count high enough to state the number of times I have been told to not become attached. ugh.

Then there are the questions of when is enough - enough? When is it okay for people suffering with terminal illness able to let go. Fighting cancer is tiring. It can take everything out of you. When you have a 12 year old body that cancer is ravaging on a daily basis; when is it okay to say NO MORE? She continued to fight for those who love her. She knew how difficult it would be for her parents to exist without her. When do we decide on quality vs. quantity; and who decides it? When will we as society begin to let the patient decide?

I am just so angry. Yes, you can picture me stomping on the ground and throwing things around. That is exactly what I've been doing all morning. I hate cancer and there is no way to kick it in the ass; because even when one person beats it, another one won't. It sucks. It sucks really really bad.


suz said...

I am sorry for your loss. I understood your survivor guilt talk. My mother survived colon cancer. When suggested she wear a pin to indicate she was a cancer survivor, she refused. She indicated hers wasnt so bad, she felt guilty, others died when she survived, she did not deserve to wear it, etc. I had a long talk with her about survivor guilt. She gets it now. (And wears the pin and works with other cancer victims)

Nicole said...

It's so hard because there are so many people that lose their lives to this disease and yet they are much better people than I am. It's so difficult to understand the logic (if there is any) of why such innocent people must die. I guess there is no logic behind it. It is truly senseless.
Thanks (((Suz)))

Kieran said...

You are as innocent as any child in the battle with the beast. You do not deserve cancer and I thank the lucky stars every single day that you are winning the battle.
Much Love, Kieran