Why do people have to suffer from cancer?

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For months, people have been talking about Joey Feek, the country singer who battled cervical cancer for a year and a half.

This includes people like me, who had never listened to the music of country duo Joey + Rory until recently. According to Rory Feek’s blog, This Life I Live, his 40-year-old wife lost her battle at 2:30 this afternoon. She had been in a deep sleep for days, her morphine dosage upped to help ease her pain.

I’ve been following the couple’s story for a couple of months. I can’t tell you why. Nor do I know why others have been so captured by it. Some people say it’s because of the strength and dignity with which the star has been handling her death. It isn’t wrong that the young mother of a just-turned-2-year-old is getting the attention, but haven’t many thousands, or even millions, of people all around the globe been doing the same thing for untold years?

Is that the key – that Joey’s story is touching the rest of our lives because we have experienced something similar on some level?

Because every time I read something about Joey, I think about my mom’s last days, spent in a hospice bed, surrounded by people who loved her, dying of more than one form of cancer. She faced it with dignity, too. I remember the last conversation we had, while she was in that bed, four days before she died. We remembered many things from the past, we said things we needed to say, but most of all we laughed laughs that needed to be laughed. We also tried to say goodbye, but it is impossible for me to judge how well we did that.

Those days were gut-wrenching, and so have been these days, watching and waiting for Joey to win or lose her battle. These days also have me asking questions.

Why can’t we solve the puzzle and cure cancer? Especially in the United States, where we have people who have millions of dollars, why can’t we get this mission accomplished? Companies spend millions, maybe even billions, of dollars, on testing makeup on animals (which is so wrong), but we could be using that money to find the cure for a disease that is killing in ever-more-increasing numbers.

And why do people have to spend their last days in waste and pain? We allow our animals to go with dignity, but we mostly won’t allow it for our people. Judging by how many people treat animals, I wouldn’t say the majority of people love them more than people, would you?

But we do allow our animals to go when it’s time. And it appears to be peaceful. I have had three German Shepherds who needed to be put to sleep when their illnesses (cancer for each of them, how ironic is that?) became unbearable. And I held each of them while they appeared to fall asleep and then their hearts stopped beating.

I was also holding my mom when she left this world, but those last four days were filled with constant worrying about and monitoring of her pain, and her crying out here and there when the medicine wasn’t working so well. Why, when there is absolutely no hope, can we not do the same thing for people, end their suffering?

I certainly think it could be a slippery slope from OKing death to sanctioning killing. But when we have the capability to do for people what we can do for animals, why the double standard?

If this topic means something to you, please share it with others and/or comment. I’d love to hear from you.

One comment

  1. and so it is · March 5, 2016

    i love this

    Like

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