What word has the power to change the focus of your life? If your answer was cancer, you are correct.

There are theories that the potential for cancer is in our bodies. It is possible that cancer cells will remain dormant throughout your life, but some people are not so fortunate. The sleeping infiltrator awakens to wreak havoc on yet another person’s life.

People go about their lives with the usual ups and downs, but nothing earthshattering. That is until everything changes with a single word said by a doctor.

Unless you or a loved one has cancer, you may not realize just how many folks have various forms of the disease. Walk into any oncology treatment center, and you will be shocked to see people standing in line to check in or filling the waiting rooms for the daily fun.

In the past, accordingly to the oncologist, within ten days following a cancer diagnosis, treatments began. Now that the insurance company mambo is in the equation, it can take weeks before actual action commences. Every test must be approved by the insurance company, in their own sweet time.

Funny how the accountants (with no medical expertise) are suddenly at loggerheads with doctors regarding medical procedures and even medication. On some level, we acknowledge that the companies are for-profit businesses rather than charitable organizations. Nevertheless, insurance customers are on record asking, “Considering all your unreasonable delaying tactics in approving tests and treatments, are you trying to kill my loved one?”

Clearly, the insurance geni-asses do not realize the delays can exacerbate the problem which could increase the cost of the patient’s care. Is it possible that IQ and minimal medical knowledge are not prerequisites for health insurance employees?

Hurry up and wait is the operative word in the land of cancer. The patients want to hurry and get well, but part of treatments and healing is the invaluable virtue of patience. One needs patience in abundance after the diagnosis. This trait tends to be in short supply when it comes to the well-being of a loved one. As a result, it helps if one partner is calm while the other tends to have the Mount Vesuvius type of temperament.

Folks do not notice or appreciate the simple things in their lives until they lose them. Some types of cancer make it difficult or impossible to eat regular foods, and watching television becomes a form of torture. Why?

All you have to do is stare at the hypnotic screen for 30 minutes to an hour, and you cannot help but notice the countless food-related commercials. Is it any wonder that obesity is on the rise? The presentation of beautifully photographed food makes your mouth water, even if you are not hungry. Food appears on the screen, people begin to salivate, and the Pavlovian trap captures the viewer.

Before they realize what is happening, the viewer’s minds begin to equate watching television with face stuffing. They see food. They heave their bodies out of their recliners or off their sofas, and they haunt their kitchens and refrigerators for something that resembles what they saw on the screen. Patients with certain cancers can only watch without gratification.

The instant camaraderie among cancer patients is beautiful to see and experience. Facing a common enemy is a unifier.

People are creatures of habit, even when it comes to chemo treatments. Snickers flitted around the Infusion Room when one of the patients walked in and exclaimed, “My favorite chair is available! Last time I came, someone was using my chair, I kept hoping he would leave before my treatment started, but he didn’t,” the lady explained with a chuckle as she settled in “her” chair.

As the radiologist situated the patient for a radiation treatment, the patient studied the machine and asked, “Are you going to turn me into the Incredible Hulk?”

“No. Would you settle for light green and healthy?” quipped the radiologist.


Follow Elizabeth Cowan on Twitter @LizCowan4. Website: www.elizabethcowan.com. Like her Facebook author page: www.facebook.com/Liz.Cowan.Author. Books available on amazon.com.


Novels: The Dionysus Connection; The Marathon Man; Sins of the Father


Humor Books: Fractured Proverbs and Twisted Thoughts; Through the Keyhole





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