bad news

I found out this evening that my first cousin has terminal stage 4 lung cancer.  She’s in her late 40s with three kids, the youngest of whom is in 10th grade.  Just, why?  We aren’t close.  She lives in upstate NY, like most of my mom’s family.  With parents and siblings in NYC, Roanoke, Richmond, Houston and San Francisco, Albany is just not high enough on the list to make it out there.  If I was a better person or just despised travel and flying less, I’d see more of my extended family.  But I’m not, so here we are.  But I just like the Nolans – all of them, my cousins, aunts and uncles, and my now deceased grandparents.  They are and were great, just kindred spirits in some way.  I miss when my grandparents were alive and we could sit together in the living room or dining room of someone’s house and just talk about this or that.

But what happens now?  Well, most likely she dies, and the only question is how quickly.  I can’t help but hope maybe she’ll “beat this thing.”  My grandpa was diagnosed with late stage cancer in his 40s and survived thanks to cutting edge medicine (for the 70s) less several organs, including his bladder.  There have been major developments lately in cancer, but it hasn’t really started to have an impact.  Is it possible that it could help my cousin?  Probably not, but I can’t help but hope.

You’ll remember my uncle died of terminal colon cancer with a side of covid earlier this year, diagnosed in his 40s.  My grandpa barely survived cancer diagnosed in his 40s.  My aunt is a survivor of colon cancer diagnosed in her early 50s.  Nolan genes are honestly a cesspool.  (This is also where the diabetes comes from.)  Selfishly, a big part of me is just relieved it’s not my mom.