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