Dying of Cancer

The other day, I was at 5/3 Bank depositing my paycheck and a flier for cancer awareness caught my eye above one of the tellers’ windows. Normally it wouldn’t have meant much to me…but recently I learned that an old acquaintance of mine, Gary Russa, passed away at a fairly young age of cancer. He used to have a booth at the Piqua Flea Market when Rhett had his place in there so we used to talk fairly often. The story I was told was that he’d been sick for a couple weeks, went to the doctor to see what was wrong, and the doctor basically said, “Hey dude…you’ve got cancer!”

So they started him on chemotherapy and the next day he died. Yeah, that quick. No joke.

So back to this flier… it basically just gave a quick statistic regarding the incidence of cancer in men and women. It said that 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with at least some form of cancer in their lifetime and that 1 in 2 men will be the same way.

So essentially…I have a 50% chance of being diagnosed with cancer. Keep in mind that my grandma on my dad’s side died of cancer, my dad is a cancer survior, and my mom died of cancer. God knows how many other family members died of cancer, but quite a few on my dad’s side have/have had it. Okay, so unless a miracle occurs, chances are good that I’m not gonna be the lucky one who isn’t diagnosed.

But the thing of it is… I’m not sure I want to be diagnosed. Let me clarify…obviously NOBODY wants to be diagnosed with cancer. But even if I already have cancer…I don’t know if I want to ever find out. Gary passed away at a young age…but he didn’t go through the hell that many cancer patients go through. I watched my mom die of cancer and it was an agonizing year for us. Once she went on the chemo, her health fell apart so quickly. Gary on the other hand…he lived a decent life until the cancer finally took it.  I’m sure it was hard as hell on his family…but for a cancer patient, I bet he had one of the most pain-free deaths out of all the cancer patients out there who fought a long and hard battle only to lose. Sure, it would have been nice for him to have lived a full-life, but we can’t play God…not everybody is destined to die of old age.

I’ll just come right out and say it… I’m terrified of hospitals and needles and the only way most people can ever get me in there or get a needle in me is for me to be unconscious when it happens. I truly would choose death over being put in the hospital and stuck full of needles, IVs, and everything else.

I guess what I’m saying is… chances are I’m going to end up with some form of cancer. Chances are it will be at a young age. And chances are I am going to die from it. Unless it’s found during a mandatory physical or something along those lines, I will never go to a doctor to be tested for it and I’m not quite sure I will accept any kind of treatment for it if it’s going to involve a lot of chemo or something painful and agonizing. To be completely honest, if I’m going to die of cancer, I would like it to happen just like it did with Gary…even if it means I’m going to die 20 or 30 years before I “should” be dying.

For those of you reading this calling me a self-absorbed, greedy bastard who thinks of nobody but myself…you’re wrong! It’s greedy to expect to live forever. I’m just thinking realistically.

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