Is life fair?

For those of you who read my Friday blog, I have a confession to make. It was more or less motivated or should I say precipitated by my imminent appointment with my doctor.  The previous week Dr. Nunes, the urologist I was seeing did a biopsy (should I say 12 since that is how many samples she took) on my prostate. I was coming in on Friday to get the results.  Needless to say, I was preoccupied Friday morning with thoughts or worries of a negative diagnosis. Upon meeting with Dr. Nunes, I immediately asked “were the growths benign or malignant.”  I was told that it was not that simple. She explained that “my growths were indeed cancer” (BAD NEWS!) but that they were a “Gleason 6” (WHAT THE DEVIL DID THIS MEAN?) and there was still plenty of time to make a decision on how to proceed (That’s great, like two days or twenty years?).
Dr. Nunes then explained to me THE options. After hearing them, I asked her if there were not some other options like pills, drugs, herbs or spells that could make the cancer go away,  She was sad to inform me that “modern miracle medicine” was not that “modern” or at least that miraculous yet. The real options (which I shall not bore you with) all had potential side effects, not the least of which to my mind, was impotence.  You will understand that the worries for me about impotence were not so much for my sake, as it was for Karen.  How could I leave her frustrated night after night? J 
Anyway, my choice of action has been to wait and see.  I have been gratified since making this choice five short days ago now to find out the following:

  •       My potential life expectancy with surgery is still about 15 more years
  •       My life expectancy may depend on how long I wait
  •       I have the number one disease for men in the world
  •       There is no such thing as a Gleason Stage 6
  •       Prostate cancer is no big thing
So, getting back to my Friday blog, I was going to title it “Life’s Not Fair or Is It?  By sheer coincidence, that is the subject of the Men’s discussion group that I am moderating in Luck today. Every other Tuesday as many as 20 men get together in Luck, Wisconsin at the library to discuss issues ranging from Chaos theory to “Is life fair or not?” I referred to this issue in my Friday blog and somehow it seemed apropos to the meeting I was facing on Friday. Let me explain. I am a nice guy (at least nicer now then a few years ago). I pay my taxes. I kiss children. (Shame on W.C. Fields for saying that “Anyone who dislikes kids and dogs cannot be all bad.”) I love dogs!  I give to the poor and other assorted charities.  I slow my car to let old people cross the street.  I support the right or should I say left political candidates. I go to church (every other year) on Christmas and Easter.  I still work and pay taxes to help the younger generation with their social security burden for the older folks.  I am not even collecting Social Security yet.  So how could any God (assuming one exists, which I confess I do not) but if he/she did, how could she/he select me as a candidate for CANCER!  I’m one of the good guys.  I should mention that I am for gender equality, equal rights for minorities including gay marriage and if push comes to shove, I will take the Packers over the Vikings any day. 
Thus, we arrive at perhaps one of the most fundamental existential questions of all time.  Is life fair?  Many religious people, and some not so religious, link this question with their faith and hope in a just God.  I have heard it said many times “How could God let such a thing happen.” You may be familiar with the book “When bad things happen to Good People.”  If there a just God how could he or she let BAD things happen to us GOOD people?  I am marching off at 1PM today to find out what the men in the Luck discussion group think about this question. If you are an assiduous reader of my blog, you will already know what I think on this question. I am not going to contaminate anyone’s thoughts with my ideas at this time.  I will comment tomorrow more on the results from today’s discussion in Luck. For now, I will ask you to post your comments and ideas. 
The question for you today is simple: “Is life fair?”  
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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anonymous
    May 23, 2012 @ 14:44:47

    John,

    Unfortunately, cancer is one of those things that can get even the best of us. I was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma on March 26th, and am currently on chemotherapy. Luckily, it is a very treatable form of cancer, although what does that matter? It's still cancer. It isn't fair. It really sucks. But, it almost forces you to appreciate everything a lot more than you ever did before. I'm closer with my family, I'm more open with my friends, and I look back on many memories with more fondness. I even appreciate my education more. Some cancer survivors look back and think of cancer as a gift. It makes the world more beautiful, friendships stronger, and life more meaningful. Something to think about?

    -Jason Pederson

    Reply

  2. John Persico
    May 23, 2012 @ 20:56:36

    Thanks Jason, I am sorry to hear about your cancer. I am glad it is working out well. As you said, there is always a good side to things if you are open minded enough to see it. I like your perspective and hope I can keep it in mind. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I hope everything else is going well for you.

    Reply

  3. Anonymous
    May 24, 2012 @ 03:45:08

    John,
    Sorry to hear about your cancer. It seems you are approaching it, and the questions it brings, in your usual direct manner.
    I would have to say life isn't fair, but from the perspective that I think many of us, myself especially, get much better than we deserve.
    Why do I get a loving family? Why do I get a wife and kids? Why do I get a comfortable place to live?
    There are other people who work harder and are kinder than I am.
    I wish you health and wisdom as you face this challenge.
    -Jon Carlson

    Reply

  4. John Persico
    May 24, 2012 @ 13:46:45

    Thanks Jon, for your kind words and comments. I think my life has been more than fair to me. I have no complaints. however, I think it may not be true for others. I think of many minorities in the world as well as people in other countries who have been persecuted and discrimated against. I can't speak for them but I would think they would feel their lives have not been fair or at least the world is not fair to them.

    Reply

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