For those of you that don’t know me or haven’t yet read any of my previous blogs, then you don’t know my story or why this day hits home for me. Let’s just say Cancer is a sensitive subject for me and my family.
December of 2012, my dad was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, cancer of the plasma cells. Multiple Myeloma causes cancer cells to accumulate in the bone marrow, thus crowds out healthy red blood cells and results in frequent infections, bone issues, kidney dysfunction, and more. Hearing Dad had cancer was terrifying. I never in a million years would have expected somebody so close to me would get it, but I was naive back then. I think we all are until it happens to us. Anyway, I had figured that of course he’d beat it, because my father was NOT dying and it was silly to even think he was. He did beat it, but only for a little while.
By August of 2013, dad reached the joyous day 100 of remission. He was totally and utterly free of cancer. What a happy day that was. For that moment being, we could release the breaths we’d all been holding and relax. Dad was healthy and I celebrated with him and mom in Alberta, Canada. It was a beautiful trip by the way, highly recommend it.
Sadly, the cancer did not stay away for long. It came back and it felt like everything went downhill from there. Dad fought so hard during this journey and that last year was oh-so hard to watch. His body was slowly deteriorating and the cancer took everything from him. So much chemo, meds, doctor appointments, hospital visits, tests, and more. Yet for whatever reason, I still refused to believe he wouldn’t win this. I had nothing but hope.
Dad made it to his 60th birthday party in October of 2014. At his party, I remember seeing him walk in that evening and feeling this dread creep into my body. Any hope that I still had left was gone. It was truly heart breaking to see him walk in with his cane, so frail and pale. It took everything I had that evening not to break down into tears. It must have been some time since I had seen him last, because I was blown away by how ill he looked. The cancer had been eating away at him for months, and now, it was affecting him not only physically, but also mentally. Before this evening, I had been in denial for a long, long time that we’d reach the possibility that he may not live to be an old man. On this night however, I knew. I knew that his time was coming to an end.
November 13th of 2014, dad lost his battle to Multiple Myeloma, only a few days after being put on hospice care. All of our fears came true and we lost somebody so dear to us. His cancer had been beating him and weighing him down for a long time now. The only peace that I could find was that he was no longer suffering and that God had took him home. I was so tired of seeing him suffer but nobody can prepare you for that moment. When I got the phone call, it had felt like I had been hit be a bus as the realization of what just happened crept in. He was gone. The cancer had won. That week and the weeks that followed were the most painful, heart breaking, soul crushing weeks of my life. Over three years later, my heart still hurts for him so and it often feels unreal. I miss him dearly.
If you’re still reading, thank you. Now you see why cancer is a sensitive subject and why this day hits me close to the heart. I’ve lost somebody special to it and i’ve witnessed many other families experience it too. Cancer is an awful, awful thing and I wish it upon nobody. I guess what the moral of my story is, is to not take cancer lightly. I was naive and refused to believe that my dad wouldn’t beat his. I regret that, because I could have been more helpful or more involved in some way. I would have spent double the amount of time with him if I had known those were his final months. No matter the form of cancer that you or a loved one has, take it very seriously and learn everything there is to know about it. Also, choose today to raise global awareness and to educate others about cancer. Even if you are not personally involved with somebody with cancer, take a stand anyway! Cancer can happen to anyone. Let’s aim to save one less person from their cancer battle.
Visit http://www.worldcancerday.org to see more on how you help can make a difference.
It’s time to wrap this up, so thank you again for reading my story. If you are comfortable with it, share with me your story and tell me how world cancer day affects you.