Anal cancer survivor gets glimpse of life as a witness

Recently, I had an experience I feel compelled to share. First, so that my soul will settle about it. And second, so that I can show the people in my life for the past seven years that I understand a bit better what supporting me on my anal cancer journey has been like. I have been helping out a friend of mine. He was diagnosed with cancer last year and was going through treatment, unbeknownst to me and to most of those around him. Then the symptoms came back and he sought my counsel, as one who had fought the good fight. My friend was in need of advice and some support. I readily agreed to attend doctor appointments with him and help him navigate the labyrinth of cancer care. The first meetings were pretty straightforward. Biopsies and tests had already been performed and it was indisputable: the cancer was back. The doctor outlined an aggressive cancer treatment plan — and told us it needed to start quickly. When he left to go check on how soon it could begin, my friend leaned back in his chair and took a shaky breath. Then he covered his face with his hands, his shoulders shaking as he cried. I hugged him and offered reassurance. Things would work out. We would figure it all out together. Cancer treatment as a witness Fast forward three weeks and two rounds of cancer treatment, which were laced with brutal side effects. Again, I took notes during an examination. The news was not what we had hoped. The cancer was advancing. My friend was exhausted, dehydrated...