Cancer, the top of the heap

A friend of mine, Cathy, added a comment on an earlier post about a certain universality of  experience of illness, be it cancer or other health issues.  (You should read the comment directly as it was much more eloquent than the way in which I have expressed it.)  https://thecancerproject.wordpress.com/2011/08/07/the-stories-within-the-story-of-cancer/#comments

This comment got me thinking about a few things. One thought was that in the world of illness there is a certain hierarchy of disease with the big “C” having the dubious distinction of being at the top of the heap. I have had the experience of having people stop in the middle of telling me about their health issues to say things like “Oh, but I shouldn’t complain when YOU are dealing with what you have to deal with” .  It seems to me that any health issue can take a life on a wild trajectory and involve extreme stress, anxiety and uncertainty. There is no better or worse illness to be stuck with.

Of course, I am also stating the obvious when I say that there is not just one cancer story. Rather it is an illness that is so varied and the people who are faced with it are of infinite variety.

The best we can do is share our stories and hope that they resonate for all kinds of people, which is, of course, the intention of the book.  I would love to start hearing some of your stories!

Sam

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