I can't believe that it's nearly three years since I started uploading stuff here at dA. How time flies.
It was around this time last year that my wife's sister was diagnosed with rare and aggressive form of cancer. The prognosis, from the outset, was not good - life expectancy just five years at the most with treatment, if the cancer was detected at an early stage. Despite surgery and radiotherapy my wife's sister died in January this year, a little over six months after being diagnosed. She was in her early forties when she died.
My wife's sister (lets all her Claire - not her real name) had a few regrets, apart from the obvious. The one thing that struck me the most was that she regretted that many of her friends did not pay her a visit until towards the end. She hated the looks on their faces, which, invariably, started with shock, moved to pity and then guilt. The shock was inevitable as Claire's health deteriorated rapidly, especially over the last couple of months. The pity - it was obvious that there was only going to be one outcome. The guilt, because they had not been to visit her sooner, for whatever reason.
Maybe, in this day-and-age, some of us are complacent and we tend to think, perhaps with some justification, that cancer is curable, but this is not always the case. Also, in a world where social media is becoming increasingly pervasive, its all too easy to rely on Facebook, Twitter, text messages and e-mails to stay in touch with relatives an friends. My only advice to you is, if you really care about somebody, screw social media, go visit them and visit often, whether or not they are ill.