On Cancer: Why is it always the good ones?

It’s been in my thoughts a lot recently. The C word.

No, not that one, the other one. I’m talking about the Big C, that inevitably we all have to face up to at some time in our lives, whether vicariously through friends or family, or in person. Yep, it’s cancer.

Cancer. That big, fat elephant in the room. The elephant that triumphantly stomps into our lives to ruin literally everything. To give our loved ones unnecessary pain and for some, to take them away from us entirely. Yes, that fucker. The one who enters the lives of one in three people in our lifetimes. I fucking hate you.

I’ve lost some great people to this horrific disease over the years and it never does get any easier. That feeling of utter helplessness when you hear of a diagnosis, and then watching the whole ugly scene play out across months, years, decades. It’s scary, and the most frustrating part of it is, you can cry, shout and scream your lungs out but it makes no difference. Cancer doesn’t give a shit.

A close family member has been living with various forms of evolving cancer for a couple of years. He’s sick, and the treatments make him look and feel sicker. My family never talks about it, because we’re British and that’s what us Brits do. Close off, engage the stiff upper lip and just ‘get on with it’. Why do we do this? Is it a coping mechanism, or are we just shit at talking?

Last night I got the devastating news that my friend’s cancer is back. She is one of the strongest people I know, having being diagnosed with breast cancer 5 years ago, and battling it like a fucking champ. She blogged about it in detail. The types of treatments, the lows and finally the highs – all right there for the world to see. We were there with her when she got the diagnosis, watched her tackle it head-on and celebrated with her when she beat the bastard. She became an inspiration to all those going through the same thing, and was a beacon of hope for those struggling with aggressive breast cancer.

Now, it’s back, and it’s spread to her bones. The prognosis isn’t good and again, she is writing as a form of therapy. Because¬†seriously, how¬†the hell else are you supposed to process this shit?

Why is it always the good ones? We have a host of shit-for-brains people in this world, mentioning no names but looking your way, North Korea / Russia / USA. But cancer holds no bias. It can happen to anyone, but usually it happens to the ones we love and wouldn’t know what to do without.

I’m not quite sure what the point of this post is, except to vent my frustrations at the universe. Life is fucking horrible sometimes, and I’m sorry if this is a hard post to read, but believe me, it’s even harder to write.

Finally, Jo, if you’re reading this, I know you’re not ready to talk yet, but when you are, I’m here. I’m not very fucking good at it and I will probably say the wrong things, but I’m with you mate. I fucking love you.

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Hayley is the author behind A Life of More, a travel and lifestyle blog with the goal of helping you to live a happier and more fulfilled life, whether you're currently travelling or happily settled.

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Comments 3

  1. Laura

    Hi Hayley,

    My grandad has just been told he has months to live after being diagnosed with lung cancer. We are now trying to figure out if we come back to England now or if we hope he is strong and survives longer so we can go back when planned.

    I hate cancer and have lost so many amazing people to it. It never gets easier.

    Sorry that your friends are going through this.
    Life is crappy at times!

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  3. BeckyJo

    “But cancer holds no bias”. That’s the thing. It hits when you don’t expect, where you don’t expect. A lot of us have lost people to all sort of cancers, unfortunately. It never gets easier, but the only thing that you can do it’s being there for them, to light up a bit the day, cause most of the days are quite a pain.

    Medically, we are getting better each day on treating the cancers that we have in our bodies, but it’s going to be a while until we’re going to actually cure them. Until then, we can only comfort our friends and help them getting through it as best as we can. As painful as it is.

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