My plea for support and understanding

My wife died May 5, 2019 of non-small cell lung cancer. It was hard when one ignorant person (medical staff no less) after another would ask her "So, when did you stop smoking?". She was a never-smoker. Lung cancer is killing about 1:5 non-smoking women and we don't know why. People see lung cancer as a self-inflicted disease, thus most people we encountered were immediately unsympathetic.

My wife was the most sweet, intelligent, well-spoken and brave woman I have ever met. She had quite a bit of social capital at the start. But after many setbacks, our friendships evaporated one by one. Cancer is misframed as a fight, where you must "stay positive". People see it as inherently winnable. It's supposed to be some kind of enlightening life challenge, where you get sick, endure the horrid treatments, "win" and then everyone moves on with a greater appreciation for life.

People would get mad at us for really ignorant reasons. We were not religious, so apparently we had forgone the protection of god, so we essentially invited this upon ourselves. I had another "friend" relate to me how his porn addiction lead to his wife being demonically oppressed. He said it wasn't until he overcame his sin that his wife started "acting normally" again. He said I must have some kind of sin in my life that god hates, thus I opened my wife up to harm. I struggle to understand how he didn't think his wife was checking his browser history instead and feeling upset over it instead of being demon oppressed. Also, people would propose some quack cure they found online and would get angry that we didn't try it.

People are unable to comprehend the typical outcome, where treatment after treatment fails. Where you see someone's "humanity" stripped away, one piece at a time. I put humanity in quotes because my wife never lost her humanity and I could still see her beauty shine through it all, right up to the very end. Since her death, I am nearly friendless, caring for three young children on my own. I am completely on my my own, even my own family has turned a blind eye.

We didn't deserve this. We lead a good, honest life and we even helped those in need prior to our cancer battle. I am sure you don't deserve this either. Ironically, people just cannot handle the level of existential horror and reminders of their own mortality that a cancer battle brings to the surface. It makes them uncomfortable, so they turn away.

I supported my wife during her 3 year struggle-unflinchingly. So if you ever need a friendly ear or a bit of understanding, you're more than welcome to reach out.

/r/cancer Thread