Circling Cancer


Cancer is like a black hole. It devours friends and family and leaves broken survivors in its wake. Survivors who bear the scars of surgery, Chemo burns, and the invisible scars that no one sees. Loved ones who carry the scars of watching their friends, family, spouses, children, suffer.

I watched my wife skirt the edges of that black hole. I see the indelible mark it has left on her. I feel the spectre of it in every ache and pain she has. A cold isn’t just a cold anymore. An ache seems to have nefarious hidden consequences. Nothing is as it seems.

I watched my dad stare in the abyss. I saw my grandfather and my mother-in-law square their shoulders and face it with more grace than I could ever muster were I in their position. Theirs wasn’t a skirting of the black hole, it was a direct route to the centre with no hope of return.

I have written about this before and it isn’t a “poor me” rant. In fact it should never be about us, it should always be about them.

Today I read an article from a writer friend of mine. We’ve sparred all cocky and punny on Facebook but have rarely meet in person. I regret that. She is funny and quirky and snarky in all the best ways. And in acknowledging it now, it feels too much like an afterthought. I should have made the time. But again, this isn’t about me. It’s about time. It’s about how much we have and how precious each second of it is.

Her name is Annette McLeod. This is her story. This is her narrowing loop around the black hole.



About Dale Long

Writing ambushed me from the shadows. At first I pushed it aside as nonsense, but luckily my wife and two girls saw the potential. Since then I have had an article published by Metroland, placed as runner-up and in the top ten in humour writing contests and various other contests. The icing on the cake was placing as runner-up in the WCDR's Wicked Words contest (130 entries) and having my entry published in the contests anthology of the same name. My entry was an exerpt from my upcoming novel, Echoes.
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1 Response to Circling Cancer

  1. ruthewalker says:

    Reblogged this on Ruth E. Walker and commented:
    What if you knew the clock was clicking so loudly that you could actually hear it. My writer-colleague Annette McLeod must make a decision no parent would choose to be burdened with. Honest, clear and undeniable, she faces that decision in a most human way.

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