Appreciating health

December 31, 2007

Firepit Face by Daniel Shiplacoff

We have two very close friends that both have cancer, specifically lung cancer.

L is 60, HIV positive since the early 80s and still smokes in between sessions on his oxygen tank. His cancer started on his back with a tumor. Even though they thought they had got it all with chemotherapy last summer, some of it got into his lung. Now he has to do it all again. Ugh. It is likely terminal so he says, but then so was his prognosis with AIDS in the early 80s. L is an amazing survivor.

S is 32, ignored warnings of cervical cancer and it has now spread to her lungs. It has likely metastasized even further since last I heard from her husband. All her friends were incredulous that this isn’t just going away and appears now to be terminal. In retrospect, a friend pointed out that S’s big birthday party last month had a camera theme where everyone was to bring a camera and take lots of pictures. Did she know then? Probably, yes. But rather than have a boo hoo I have cancer party, she chose a celebration where everyone could document the event, and if her cancer IS terminal, then they all have a recent and vivid document of S with her friends and family. Wow. She is still alive and undergoing various therapies. J’s prayer warriors are hard at work as are all of her friends–believers and not.

These sobering wake-up calls make us all appreciate health in ways that nothing else can.

[Photo credit: “Sandpit Face” by Daniel Shiplacoff]

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