Hate is a strong word, but has its place in my heart

There are few things in the world that I can say I truly hate. Having worked in the medical field and watched a beloved friend stricken, I know hate is the word to describe my feelings. The affliction I speak of is cancer, it has touched the lives of nearly all of us, and will continue to until a cure is found.

To lose a friend or close family member to anything is a nearly indescribable pain. Quick deaths like car accidents or heart attacks leave you saddened, but don't carry the same weight as watching someone go downhill and pass due to cancer. The hole left in your heart by such a traumatic experience tends to be filled with an utter hate and disdain for the disease. I have personally watched my grandmother and a close friend stricken down by cancer. After posting a comment on Facebook about my experience losing my teacher to cancer, a close family friend, Lynn Kampe, recommended I write this week’s column based on my comments.

My experience with cancer started at a young age. My grandmother, Kathleen Cummings, passed away after a long hard battle. I hardly remember the details, but remember the feeling well. My hate for the disease was kindled through this experience. I then went into the medical field where you have to see people fighting it, nearly every day. Just more logs on the fire. Upon losing my close friend and teacher, David Zeb Lewis, my hate became a full fledged four-alarm blaze. Lynn asked me to try and see the bright side and document our shared experiences. In reflection, it's hard to believe that so many good memories had been suppressed due to the negative interpretation of the situation.

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