Disease a hitchhiker

I’ve been following Kathleen Cohn on the Cowbird storytelling community as she writes about her husband’s cancer journey. I started following her stories before my mom was diagnosed with cancer, but now it hits even closer to home. Her writing is eloquent, honest, heartbreaking and hopeful.

The way their doctor described her husband’s rare cancer really struck me, and seems to apply to other diseases as well:

“Along the way we picked up a hitchhiker but managed to lock him in the trunk.The goal was to keep him in the trunk. Sometimes he may get out of the trunk, and into the backseat, but we needed to keep on top of it so that he didn’t get in the front seat and grab the steering wheel.”

Certainly that can apply to cancer but also to Alzheimer’s disease. Dad had his good days and his bad days as he tried to keep control of that steering wheel controlling his life. But eventually, that dementia demon escaped the trunk, crawled over the back seat and took control of my dad’s life.

Mom doesn’t drive, but she is the world’s worst backseat driver, so I wonder how she will fare against her hitchhiker.

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