Goodbye Marco. May you rest in peace.
And to you my friends, smell the flowers while you can.
I'm 35, and I've already lost at least 4 friends. Causes of death: Drunk driving, Suicide, Murder, and bacterial infection/dropped dead.
The friend with the infection was a super-healthy woman who was opening a fitness studio, one of those people that you would expect to grow old, not catch a random bug and die.
This is something of a fear of mine, especially after my wife received a MRSA infection a few years ago.
I know she was feeling crappy, enough to head into a hospital late-ish at night, and apparently by that time her kidneys had already shut down. I don't live in the same city as she did anymore, so I don't have any more info.
It's not even a good or bad thing on its own, you've always known it was part of the game: the sun rises, bigger animals eat smaller animals, tides come in and out; yet learning to live with it on your skin affects you deeply. Anyway, thanks for your comment.
Anyway, I hope he had a happy life. RIP.
Thank you Marco!
Marco created Galeon, which was my favorite browser back in the 1.2 days. He'll be missed.
How great it is then, that now I know who to thank for Evince. So sad that he's not here to receive my thanks.
On a side note, as someone with cancer i'm getting more and more annoyed with people saying 'lost the fight' 'after a long fight' etc. Somehow (and I know more people have this) it makes it feel like you didn't try hard enough. Stop saying that please.
"Tony Gwynn died recently, just last month, of salivary gland cancer. (…) He was a great ball player, and a great man. He had salivary gland cancer for 8 years. (…) Every article about Gwynn's death quite rightly celebrated his prowess on the ball field and what a wonderful man he was. The last 4 and a half years of his life disappeared from all of the accounts. The only thing they ever said was that he had a 4-and-a-half year "battle" with cancer. And you know how much I hate that word, "battle." (…) You know, his experience of it--he continued to coach baseball at San Diego State. How did it affect his coaching? What did it do to his religious faith? How did it alter his relationship with his wife? All of this went unsaid, and it just disappeared into one word--battle."
I have given eulogies before. I have focused on only things I wanted to remember and perhaps things I thought others would want to remember--not that there's anything majorly wrong with that. It is not easy to devise guidelines about what should and should not be communicated. But, I do think it is a disservice to someone's life with a disease to be summarized with a single word or short phrase--ESPECIALLY if that time frame is many years.
In summary, I see the issues as:
- Individuals summarizing another person's experience with a disease or condition using single words or short phrases such as "battle" or "long fight"
- Focusing only on periods of their life prior to to their diagnosis
- The ignoring of accomplishments, day-to-day realities of life, significant persons, significant places, etc. after their diagnosis
Shouldn't it be the same for others who live with cancer?
Might come across as snarky, but really meaning not to: What's an expression that would be more acceptable?
That's what my sneaking suspicion was. I recall having heard expressions like "after a long battle with illness", but your point makes a lot of sense.
Actually, I realise there's no mention of losing in that expression, which was made clear to me after finding this article
after searching Google for the above phrase.
I wonder if one reason for the difference in language is that chemotherapy is so brutal that it ends up feeling like a "battle". Plus maybe that there's a chance of "winning", which isn't there with Alzheimer's or with ALS.
(I'm not justifying the correctness of the word, just speculating on the cause.)
I'm a bioinformatician working in genetics- I'm moving away a little from cancer genetics right now, but I've been involved some in the past. I think it'd be a little more accurate to assert that people like ME lost the battle against cancer- because we're the ones trying to understand cancer behavior and develop effective treatments. I celebrate that people see cancer as something to be 'fought', though, and hope that even more talented programmers will enter the fray.
Here's hoping your fight against cancer goes well, and that you have many happy days ahead, tluyben2! :)
Where'd be a good place to start? And is it all statistical modelling and stuff, or what's involved in programming in the fight with cancer?
https://tutegenomics.com/ is the place I'm interning at right now, part time, while I also help at a lab at university. That website is pretty interesting, as well, you might find- and I'd best get back to work for now. Ask me any other questions you have, though, I'd be happy to help, just a little short on time at the moment. :)
Good luck, viewer5! :)
i hear what you are saying, and i will try to phrase it differently, but i do see it as a war. i am a smoker. i often work with carcinogenic chemicals. i see cancer as an inevitability, and when it shows up, i plan to either do nothing therapeutic (chemo, removal) and just go on a no holds barred adventure around the world to look at stuff i've only read about OR donate my body to some team of researchers who need a living model to test their ideas on. this is just my thinking currently; it may change. i have no children, few possessions, and few ties outside of family.
So for me, i do see it as a war that i will inevitably become a part of.
fuck fucking cancer.
I have a cousin who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and, like everyone, have lost various other relatives and friends to cancer over the years.
One thing which is very clear from their experience is that all cancer treatment is experimentation on living people, with a hope that some combination of treatments will bring a cure. For some people there is a brief success (reduced tumor size, sometimes to undetectable levels) but, outside of some cancers which are very treatable, this is normally a brief pause.
Treatments people receive today are because of the experiences of people in the past which showed a good response and this is fed into developing and fine-tuning what is done today. The hope is this experimentation will mean more success in future and longer lives with better quality.
There are lots of anger filled comments (understandably so) here. The reality is you are best to receive the experimentation early on when it can bring benefits, but to also recognize it's not always going to benefit you for long and the benefit may go to someone a few years from now who have a better treatment and better results because of your experiences.
I think that's really the only positive thing you can take from the experience.
If you ever do get diagnosed, the bucket list thing is good. That's what I'm doing with my cousin while she has time. There is only a brief interval to tick that off; take it before it's too late.
Mother had breast cancer, caught early, and fully cured with lumpectomy and some radiation (no recurrence before her death due to unrelated causes).
Other forms of cancer are less treatable. It all depends on type and how early it's detected. I don't see much point in making any kind of hard-and-fast decisions ahead of time. When the time comes, look at the facts, get some good medical advice, and then decide what you want to do.
Take care, buddy.
What should we say instead?
This is based on something I've read that was very formative . The main idea is that the central person is allowed to complain to anyone, but anyone not at the center of a tragedy is only allowed to complain to people farther from the tragedy. A short version of this is, "comfort goes in, complaints go out", if you think of these layers as rings.
Cancer patient: Can complain to anyone about anything
Cancer patient's family: Can complain to anyone __except__ cancer patients about anything.
Bystanders (me): basically has no standing to complain about things ("this is so hard for me to deal with!"). ;)
Sorry if this seems a little preachy, because your feelings are valid. I think that the downvotes are mainly because of the way you said them, and on who you replied to. I found this article really helpful in framing my own thoughts and words about tragedies, because I've been inadvertently insensitive in the past about things like this. I hope you enjoy it too.