It’s been two weeks since my Dad was diagnosed with cancer.Â I was at work when he called to tell me; I remember it clearly.Â At least, I remember the feeling of hearing the news- I have no idea at all what I said in return.Â It was like every synapse in my brain had suddenly darkened.Â My thoughts and emotions were completely suspended- I felt no fear, anxiety, doubt, not even sorrow.Â Everything was completely still.
In the few minutes between hanging up and leaving work, I was inundated with thoughts of what might happen.Â To clear my head, I decided to go for a walk.Â The weather was beautiful, but there was no solace in a Spring day.Â Until that day, cancer was a vague thing; now the meaning of the word had changed entirely.Â I liken it to the rainforest: everyone discusses it , frequently but abstractly, and until you’ve felt it’s presence, it’s really only a word.Â It’s much more than a word to me now.Â I walked for hours, searching for something to anchor myself to, something to comfort me.Â There were a dozen people I could talk to, a dozen shoulders to cry on.Â Unfortunately, some things have to be reconciled from within; the sympathy of others is cold comfort.
Not long after getting the news, I accepted what had happened to my Dad because I believe he’ll survive it.Â He’s young, healthy, and stubborn; what better armor to have for the fight to survive?
Worry was quickly replaced by genuine hope, but that doesn’t make cancer any easier.Â For my own part, the most difficult part of the last two weeks has been worrying about my family.Â My hitherto one-dimensional understanding of cancer was confined to the patient, but cancer gnaws at the hearts of everyone around the patient.Â People can be undone by worry, especially since the popular face of cancer is the victims, not the survivors (of which there are many).
If the last two weeks were difficult, the next two should be a little easier.Â The largest tumor has been removed with great success, and a little recovery time is in order before chemotherapy starts.