“Cancer is just a reminder that life is really precious. So many people lose focus on what life is really all about. Everyone needs to rid themselves the drama and enjoy everyday you wake up.”- Pauly Half Jack LaRocgue.
Apparently you exist because sometimes, “abnormal cells divide uncontrollably and have the ability to infiltrate and destroy normal body tissue-causing cancer.” After witnessing your affects on a loved one, I would have worded this a tad bit differently. I would have said “abnormal cells divide uncontrollably and have the ability to infiltrate your life and destroy it- but I’m not in charge here.
I know how you work. You knock on the door, and push your way in-uninvited. Our family will sit around and talk about you, wondering what brought you here, and how long you will stay. We will discuss what happens if you decide to stay forever. We will all cry together, praying that your visit will be short.
In the meantime, we will walk around carrying on, as if you are not here. We will try our best to act as if we are not completely devastated by your presence. We will smile, and make small talk, in an attempt to avoid acknowledging your existence. We will pretend that the uncertainty of your unexpected arrival isn’t crippling us with sadness.
You will inevitably destroy the world we spent a lifetime creating; and then you will vanish. But you won’t go alone-you will take our most treasured love one with you, and we will never see them again in this world.
We will sit around wondering why the hell you chose us. Why you chose them. You were unwelcome, and despite our best efforts, we were unable to get you to leave. You came suddenly, and like a tornado, you destroyed everything you touched – leaving behind only memories and ashes-along with thousands of broken pieces that we had to pick up one by one. You were gone physically, but you continued to haunt us through vivid images of our loved ones slowly deteriorating, these will be forever ingrained in our mind.
I think it’s important that you know how your visit affected me……
Because of you, I lost all but one of my grandparents by age 22.
Because of you, I had to gently hold both my parents hands, and tell them “It’s okay to let go now. You don’t have to fight anymore. I will always love you forever, but I’m ready to let you go” as they struggled to breath their last breaths.
Because of you, I held the hands of both of my parents lifeless bodies.
Because of you, all I have left of the people that created and raised me-is a few ashes in a box.
Because of you my mother wasn’t at my wedding-nor will she ever meet my children. I cannot call her and ask for marriage advice or help with a recipe. She is gone from this earth. I will never see her again as long as I am alive. I will never hear her contagiously loud laugh, or see her beautiful smile in person-because of you.
Because of you, my father will never meet my daughter. He will never rake piles out of leaves for her to jump in, or ride her around the yard in a wheelbarrow, or scare her as he yells at the top of his lungs during a scary part of a movie-like he always did with me, because of you.
Because of you, I have an irrational fear that everyone I love is going to die, anytime they leave my sight.
Because of you, my life will never, ever be the same.
Because of you I am strong. You have made me realize that I am capable of overcoming more than I thought possible. You are big, but my faith is bigger. You may have taken the majority of my family from me, but you will never be able to take my happiness. I know I will see my parents again one day, in another life; and when I do-I know they will tell me how proud they are of me, for not letting you destroy my faith.
Because of you I will hug my husband a little tighter, I will hold my babies a little longer, and I will tell everyone exactly how much they mean to me-any chance I get. Because life is fleeting, and I know that at any moment, you may show up at my door again…..Uninvited.
P.S. You Suck.
I just watched a beloved friend of mine pass away from brain cancer while also helping my mom cope and fight with colon cancer. Its very difficult. I also lost both my grandparents to cancer. I can totally relate to this post and I want to thank you for writing and sharing it.
I am so sorry to hear about your friend and your mother. Thank you for the comment, It means so much to me that you could relate.
As a fellow recovering addict I’d appreciate if you read this blog post of mine. I’d love your feedback.
My grandmother passed from cancer and I took care of her… also working hospice care for almost five years I have seen countless other families experience the same thing! Hugs ?
Love your blogs, just curious, weren’t you at your dad’s during Irma?? Or was that a step dad sry just trying to understand!?
Love your blogs, just curious, weren’t you at your dad’s during Irma?? Or was that a step dad sorry just trying to understand!?
Its okay! I was at my stepdads 🙂
Three weeks ago my mom who is only 57 years old was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer that has traveled to her liver and thyroid. I don’t understand how it’s stage 4 when we were not aware of stage 1,2 or 3
I get so angry. And your blog about cancer hit me on a day I really needed to hear it.
It makes me realize that even though my mom is my world and I am walking around barely functioning….there are a lot of people who have already done this, they have watched cancer take the life of a person they can’t imagine living life without….and yet when it’s all said and done, they are still living. I am going to miss her so much! Thank you for being so real with your emotions and putting them on paper for others to learn from.
Right here with you!!
I grew up an only child (or at least with half siblings I’ve never met..) and haven’t seen my dad since I was maybe 4 (although I heard he passed away several years back)
My mom found out she had stage 4 cervical cancer back in 2012, just before my daughter’s first Christmas..
For five years she suffered, did the radiation & chemo twice before the cancer spread to every major organ in her body..
The blood clots in her legs were so servere she couldn’t walk or move without the horrible pain.. pain killers were nothing to her but candy & so she had a pain pump inserted, which wasn’t much help for her either.
She lived 4 hours away from me, and with so much going on in my own life it was hard to be by her side until my aunt called me one day saying she was admitted to hospice to ride out the end of this lifetime..
My husband and I & our 4 year old packed up, I called off of work, and went to stay with her for 3 days!!!
She was in such a fog from all of the pain medication that she barely knew we were there… It was so hard watching her deteriorate away but she was in so much pain & I was so ready for her to just fall asleep..
Well my aunt was admitted to the room straight across from her in almost a coma state. (Suffered from lung cancer)
She was completely unaware and incapable of acknowledging us..
Then of course We had to leave, my job was waiting, I was pregnant and had responsibilities..
Thanksgiving day my mom text me happy Thanksgiving and said she would try to eat something… (Which more than likely she couldn’t)
& The next day, she was gone..
I didn’t want to talk to anyone about it, I didn’t want to cry to anyone about it or deal with it at all…
I didn’t plan her cremation or her funeral ceremony… I completely ignored my aunt when she called me with questions about what to do… I shut down everything!!!
I was so angry and confused and regretful and now I hold onto only memories and stories I wish she could continue to tell herself…
My babies won’t know her & I still grieve my childhood.
Thank you for sharing your stories, reminding us that this is the reality for so many people & we aren’t completely alone.
It took my grandfather. My mother, father-in-law, and mother-in-law are survivors. My dad was just diagnosed 2 months ago. Cancer sucks.