Letter to the Editor

Cancer an unwelcome visitor in home

Monday, May 23, 2011

To the editor:

Life was going really good for the three of us -- my wife, my son and myself. Oh

we had the typical problems that any other family would have, but life in general was going along pretty well.

Then we had a visitor arrive at our door and our lives changed, instantly, on the spot. He came to see one specific person in my family, although his presence has affected all three of us and he has settled down for what looks like an extended time, much to the family's dismay. You see, he is NOT wanted here, and we have done everything we know how to kick him out, but he just will not go.

We feel his presence everywhere we go, especially my wife, the person he has come to see. Because I refuse to feed him, he refuses to allow her to eat, too. Because I will not take care of his physcial needs, he takes away every ounce of her energy, too. As I daily look into her eyes, I can see his presence there, too, eating away at her a little bit at a time, laughing at our refusal to give into him.

Each day he attempts something new to take control of her body. High fever; inability to eat or even move without knowing he is there trying so hard to take over her body. High blood pressure; water retention, anything he can do just to tell this family that doesn't want him that he is in control. He has no thought as to the age of a person, young or old -- if he wants to come into your household he will, and a lot of times he doesn't even give you a warning of his visit; he simply shows up, and as in my wife's case, with a BANG!

He is very well-known and has lots of relatives who come in different forms. His name is CANCER! In my wife's case, liver and pancreatic cancer, aggressive stage 4.

Being a mother to our son one minute, down the next and cannot spend the time with him that she wants too. Working at the office one day, now has a difficult time even remembering what her job was even all about. A wife, a partner and my best friend, and as hard as she tries each day, she cannot even stay awake long enough for me to talk to. I cannot hold her anymore because it hurts her so bad to move.

But you know, as terrible as this disease is (and it is bad), we have our faith and hope in the greatest physician of all. One who knows all and can testify as to how much she is suffering because He has suffered so much for us. Where would my family be

without the Lord? God has worked through so many in my church and through this community to help us along the way. I cannot express to you how truly thankful we are to you all. Our church family, Gosnell Baptist Church, our Sunday School Class for bringing food to the house every Tuesday night; the two deacons who handmade a ramp to be placed in front of our front door so we can wheel her out safely when needed. To two special people who paid for our son's tux so he could go to the prom; to Gosnell High School for making special preparations for my wife and I to sit so she could see and leave quickly if needed; to her two special doctors, Dr. Kirby Smith and Dr. L. Peacock for all they do to make her as comfortable as possible during and after her treatments. And to all of you that perhaps I missed, for ALL of your prayers. God is able and my family has seen that through all of you and on behalf of my wife and my son, I thank you.

Mike Freligh