Sharon has cancer, one that can't be cured. She has been open and honest about it since day one, and the following post is an example not only of her eloquence but also of her compelling perspective on her illness. It is yet another reason why she's one of my very favorite people and will ever be so.
Grant 'Permission' to Let Go
One of the many things I’ve pondered in the time since my diagnosis is the term we hear so often about patients “fighting” against cancer and sometimes “losing their battle” with cancer. The following represents only my own personal thoughts and viewpoint on the matter.
All things considered, I’m doing well and have exceeded my doctor’s expectations. For this I am grateful. Yet on occasion I feel so tired, physically and emotionally, that I can see how a person may arrive at the point that he or she just can’t do it any more. When this time comes, loved ones need to know that the best gift they can offer may be to allow their ill loved one the space to move on with aided comfort of hospice instead of begging them to keep “fighting.” When one's physical, mental, and emotional resources are exhausted, it can feel so difficult, impossible even, to “keep fighting.” Yet ill persons often fear letting their loved ones down and keep on trying.
I simply hope in this writing to convey the notion that death isn’t necessarily the “loss” of a “battle,” and that it doesn’t mean the patient has failed. They may in fact be at the very jumping-off point of mankind’s greatest adventure.
So when my time comes I hope people don’t talk about me in terms of fighting or, worse, losing a battle with cancer. I prefer they comment on how I lived without giving so much credit to cancer as a powerful foe that won some victory over me.
I’m in no hurry to go, and yet I no longer fear dying. Further I don’t believe my death will be any sort of failure, but rather a transition to what comes next. And I think what comes next will be pretty awesome.
— Sharon Eagle