The Damage →

My buddy PJ just got some good news:

So, the cancer seems to be gone. For now, at least, it looks like we’ve won the battle. It caught us off-guard with its first sneak attack, and took a part of my body as a trophy, but we fought back hard.

PJ — like my son — will undergo regular scans and blood work for the rest of his life. Once cancer is present, it can come back meaner and uglier than before. We’ve had many of Josiah’s “little friends” lose the second or third round to the disease.

PJ continues:

I think most people will think my fight is over, now that the CT scans are clean…as long as we can keep the cancer from re-invading my body, of course. I don’t blame them for thinking that. It’s the kind of thing I would’ve thought, in my past life.

Unfortunately, that’s simply not the case. The damage the cancer inflicted upon me is done–and it’s not just physical.

I have no idea how deep that damage goes, but I have to start examining it.

He’s right. Cancer is a real bastard, and it climbs its way in to ever facet of life not only of its victims, but of their families and friends, too. I am a different man today than I was the day we got the news of Josiah’s cancer. It broke me in ways that can never be repaired, but I’d like to think that if I ever come out on the other end I won’t only be a stronger man, but a better one, too.

He closes:

It’s strange—in a way, receiving the news that I’m cancer free felt a lot like receiving the news that I had cancer. It’s massive news. So massive, it’s hard for me to comprehend. So massive, it still feels like it’s happening to someone else.

Three and a half years in to this thing, and it still feels alien and foreign. Just like the disease itself.