gdc
CaregiversFamily Members

The Love of Others Keeps Us All Alive

Douglas Herman, who lives with stage IV prostate cancer, highlights the strength that love provides, noting that giving and receiving love are both powerful in their own way.
December 2021 Vol 7 No 6
Douglas Alan Herman
Tempe, Arizona

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”—Lao Tzu

I am surrounded by Dr. Rami and my niece Willow.

A dear friend who lives in Florida, Sue Starr, whose son is an oncologist, wrote to describe how difficult it was for him to deliver bad news to his patients with cancer—from diagnosis to disease progression to relapses. I imagine the news of cancer remission gives hope to the patient and the doctor alike.

As my bones metastasize and become more painful, I realize how wonderful it is to have caregivers and scientists, doctors, and nurses, who are seeking to solve or assist in providing relief for my stage IV prostate cancer. But just as important are the family and friends who bestow love and prayers, in so many different ways.

Personally, I could not imagine continuing treatment with optimism and good cheer, despite the pain, without the dedication of my oncologist Dr. Rami, and the affection of my 4-year-old niece Willow, both pictured here beside me. They keep me strong, more happy than not. They give me reason to live longer, and return that love, too.

As for strength, a few weeks ago a voice spoke to me one afternoon, when I was alone and doubtful, saying: “I will make you strong in ways you never knew.” God is there, and love is the foundation. Whether spouse, sisters, brothers, grandchildren, or dear friends, we carry on, and return that love. A reciprocal sort of treatment.

And when we transition into the next world, we realize, as Euripides remarked, “Love is all we have, the only way that each can help the other.”

Share this:

Recommended For You
Family MembersBreast CancerEnd of Life
Quality Over Quantity
By Adriana Santiago
Adriana Santiago had to learn how to be a support system for her mom during the COVID-19 pandemic, after her mom was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in November 2020, and why quality of life is key.
Family MembersPediatric Cancer
Honoring My Daughter’s Last Wish to Swim When She No Longer Could
By Vicki Bunke
Sometimes we have to deal with the impossible. Vicki Bunke’s daughter, Grace, died from osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer, a day before her 15th birthday. This is a heartbreaking story of how Vicki honored her daughter’s life.
Family MembersPancreatic Cancer
Judging the Book, Not the Cover
By Shanea Irierose Drown
Shanea Irierose Drown shares her personal story of overcoming expectations, rising to the challenge, and seeing people for who they really are, not what their dubious reputations may lead us to believe.
CaregiversSurvivorshipLeukemia
Fighting Is the Hard Part, but You Have to Try
By Barbara Melendez-Dobson
At age 84, Inocencio Melendez-Schroder was diagnosed with stage IV leukemia and was told that chemotherapy and radiation would not be recommended. Soon after his death at home, his daughter, Barbara, was diagnosed with stage II leukemia and used her dad’s lessons to improve her prognosis.
Last modified: March 10, 2022

Subscribe to CONQUER: the patient voice magazine

Receive timely cancer news & updates, patient stories, and more.

Country
Gender
Race or Ethnicity
Profession or Role
Primary Interest