Colorectal Cancer Awareness: A Life Lost · The Gypsy Nurse

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By Jennifer Traub

March 16, 2023

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A Life Lost: Colorectal Cancer Awareness

I have a friend (one of my best friend’s brother) who recently passed away from metastatic colon cancer at 35 years old. He was diagnosed suddenly, and within 10 days, he was gone. So abrupt. So final.

These things happen without rhyme or reason, often to those who did not deserve it, leaving behind a blazing trail of shock and pain. I think some of the hardest parts about losing someone are the loss itself, of course, but also seeing the pain it has inflicted on other people you love. From this pain we all have experienced came immense amounts of evaluation and introspection.

One of the all-time certainties in life is that each and every one of us is going to die.

We don’t know when or how, but it is undeniably certain. Sometimes I feel fearful of that realization. The majority of the time, however, I use it as motivation. I live my life with a “beat the clock” mentality. How many goals can I accomplish before it’s my time? How many things can I experience? Places can I see? How much time can I spend with those I love?

If we want to take a second and measure true wealth, it’s time and health. Both are never guaranteed, so they shouldn’t be taken for granted. The greatest mistake anyone can make is thinking we have an abundance of either.

Loss is a part of life.

I know this more than most, especially working as a nurse. To lose, however, means something or someone had such great significance to you that devastation becomes present in its absence. Loss, then, is merrily a symbol of something so meaningful to you; you can’t quite function the same without it.

So look tonight at all the things and people you would be devastated to lose and love and cherish harder.

Love them as if you were going to lose them.

Colorectal Awareness Month

March is colorectal cancer awareness month. According to the WHO, “Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer type worldwide; in 2020, almost 2 million cases were diagnosed. It is the second most common cause of cancer death, leading to almost 1 million deaths per year. This is despite the fact that effective screening techniques exist that could reduce the number of deaths from this disease.”

For more information on colorectal cancer and screening, visit the WHO’s website.

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