Being stuck in time for a cancer patient is watching your best friends, loved ones, classmates, teammates and coaches move on while you are stuck in a bed with an IV in your arm. Time is frozen and there is nothing you can do about it. Nothing.
That is what we mean when we refer to being stuck in the “time-bubble”.
Patients have no choice but to watch the world move forward without them, only to hopefully one day be healthy enough to join the real world again. Even then, the world has changed, and the patient has not. For those reading this that are dealing with cancer you know exactly what I am talking about.
The same can go for caregivers, siblings and partners. We give up on the parties on the weekends to be with those we love fighting cancer. Yes, our bubble is different than the patient lying in bed, but we still stay by their side to help deal with their cancer. If the person dealing with cancer in your family can’t be there, then you won’t be going either. Personally, we spent holidays together crammed into my brother’s hospital room because that’s just what we do, we are there for one another.
A side effect of being stuck in the “time-bubble” is watching relationships vanish before our eyes. Those people that patients thought were their best friends slowly begin to fade away. They may hangout when other people are gathering to stop by for a quick visit but ultimately conversations become shorter and the length between visits become further apart.
Over the years I have even come to know several patients that their partners choose to move on with their lives because they are not able to handle the pressure of watching their loved one deal with cancer day in and day out. It sounds ridiculous but it happens all the time with patients that are dealing with a life-threatening disease.
Those people choose to leave because they couldn’t handle watching someone with cancer or understand what those individuals are going through and deep down, I do not blame them. Cancer sucks, why would anyone want to be a part of it?
But those that did stick around with my brother and my family to help all of us deal with cancer created a bond that I know I’ll never forget. These people started off as friends and are now family. The love and the connections that is created with the people that stayed in the “time-bubble” with us is something everyone dealing with cancer, either patient, survivor or caregiver, will never forget.
This issue covers a lot of mixed emotions and I’m sure you will find one that you will relate too. You will laugh and you will cry but like all things Elephants and Tea, we will do it together. I hope you enjoy our first magazine issue of 2020.