Living with metastatic cancer impacts everyone around you. It affects your doctors and nurses. No matter how many times they have watched other patients die, they give themselves to you with kindness and compassion. You can’t fake that kind of care or the gentleness in their voice as they deliver news you don’t want to hear.
It affects your co-workers. You may have made friends at work but now you need to resign or retire because your disease is too much for your job.
It affects your friends. No one wants to watch you die. You should live a long and healthy life so that you can go on doing all the things you love. Some friends will stay by your side and help during these troubled times. Others will send cards or call once in a while. Still others you may never see again, though they will show up at your Memorial Service.
Living will change your family. Those with whom you live will care for you to the best of their ability. Some will remain by your side. Others will choose a different path.
Most of all, living will affect your primary caregivers. Dying in front of their eyes will give them the chance to grieve and say “good-bye” while you are still here. But living, and loving, and letting them love you, that my friend, is the greatest gift of all. And not at all unfortunate.
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