Life, Death and Cancer

The past few months have really forced me to consider questions about life and death and how we deal with both.   If we are alive then we’ll have to deal with death at some point, probably (hopefully)  that of people around us and later ourselves.

This started when I received a call just before midnight a few months back.  It was the wife of a member of my team.  She was extremely
upset, her husband had gone into hospital with head pains and was diagnosed with cancer and scheduled for an immediate operation that next day to remove a tremor.

Since that time I have watched, visited, talked and e-mailed them both, trying to support.  They face enormous challenges.  The operation has lead to problems storing long term memory and vision concerns.  The radiotherapy and chemo treatments have so far had little effect.  Thoughts have now turned to possible outcomes which means thinking about their son and finances.  Here we have someone around my age, a real rising star in the office with lots of energy and previously prefect health with low cancer risk factors and now he has to consider the end of life as a possibility.

Since that first call I attended the funeral of an employee whose husband passed away after a long struggle with cancer.  I also have multiple friends who have parents with cancer concerns, one of them is unlikely to survive.

What do you do in such circumstances?  I find myself asking questions about the meaning of my existence.  It’s unlikely I’ll ever have a family of my own.  What do I bring to life and those around me and what is the point?

I don’t know if there is a god, I suspect that there isn’t in the traditional religion sense but I can’t be sure.  I do feel a connection to existence, like
picking up feelings of others without them saying anything, even if the person is half a world away, does this demonstrate something unseen?

I believe that we should seek happiness and achievements both for ourselves and far more importantly for others.  I feel better when achievements are shared, when someone I know achieves something or is happy or finds contentment.  I don’t know if others find the same comfort or experience the same thing.

I travel the world looking for different life experiences.  To see how people in different circumstances react to each other.  I’ve seen poverty and crime, I’ve been a victim of crime myself.  I’ve seen hatred as well.  But all of these bad experiences happen occasionally not regularly.  I’ve always seen love and friendship.  Even in the worst circumstances I’ve seen people comfort each other.  I think maybe the answer to what and why we exist is in front of our eyes – the love and support of each other, overcoming base instincts and being more than just self involved.

This is especially important when others are suffering.  Maybe I miss the point but if I’m wrong I can live or die with being wrong.  To all those who have loved and supported me and who have been a friend to me, you mean more to me than I can say.

Thank you for making me who I am and all I have achieved.

About Nathan

An Australian World traveler who has been fortunate enough to experience 56 countries so far. https://nathanburgessinsights.com/travel/
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