Author’s Note: I wrote this letter almost a year back while my dad was battling cancer. I didn’t upload it because the topic was just too in my face and I didn’t want to get emotional about it. My dad just recently passed away and though he did, I do think it was a good fight. I tried to put into words, the roller coaster of emotions we experienced during that time. At first you think, it’s just supporting your loved one who has cancer, but what we don’t openly discuss is how cancer actually affects the whole family. It’s not just a physical battle, it’s emotional and spiritual and if your faith dies, everything else dies too. So here’s my heart and my thoughts, I hope it helps one or two humans dealing with that thing called, cancer.
You’re one son of a bitch. Let’s make that clear.
I remember the day you came to my family,
Slightly aggressive, like a visitor who invited himself in without warning.
You made yourself comfortable and watched us
as we changed our plans, our lives for you.
You introduced fear to my family, the kind I’ve never known until you came.
You don’t kill people because you grow inside them.
That’s just a distraction.
You kill people by slowly feeding them fear and inflicting pain,
Enough that they forget about love and faith,
Enough that they know nothing but death
Enough that they just want to kill themselves
And you rude visitor, don’t even have to lift a finger.
I remembered scrambling our way through information
Not knowing what to do, where to go, and how to get rid of you.
You slowly sucked the energy from everyone of us, like a parasite that you are.
I stared at my father. I stared at him whenever I can.
Do you know how hard it is
to see the person you’ve always seen as brave be in so much pain?
He is our rock, our courage.
You almost took that away from him and I watched you do it, every single day.
I watched him fight for his life with every spoonful he could manage and every gulp of liquid he can take, whatever amount you allowed him to consume.
You are selfish that way.
I watched him call the angels and the gods and eventually lost faith.
I watched him stare at the clock like he’s just waiting to die.
The worst part is you made us believe we can’t do anything.
With our tired heart and bruised faith, we woke up each day
with anger as our breakfast, fear for lunch, and sadness for dinner.
You almost won.
But dear Cancer, my father taught us love and faith.
And the pain you inflicted was the fuel
To remember the lessons he has shown us all his life.
So we may remind him, one day.
Like a soldier that he was, he taught us to be one too.
And in this fight, we are not giving up on our General.
We stood our ground and we will until the end.
If he should lose this battle, he will with courage, love and faith.
Now, you left a scar in his body.
It will remind us not of what you have taken away from him, but of what we have gained.
We saw an overwhelming supply of love that each of us can generate.
We believed in a cosmic energy far bigger than all of us.
We asked for miracles and humbly accepted them.
Your pain became our love
Your fear became our faith
Your darkness became our light.
Dear Cancer, with love, we will see it through this fight.