In light of mid November I wanted to share my essay on men’s health as my grandfather passed away last year from cancer. It definitely isn’t easy living with cancer and for those who know those who suffer from this terrible disease or fighting it, I am praying for you. You are strong and I hope this essay can shed some light on more of what I want to do and my experiences!
I can’t exactly describe it. When I actually comprehended that things wouldn’t be the same. It was just like that moment back on my mom’s car when my dazed eyes quickly zoned in on the colourful headlights hidden among the fuzzy raindrops. In that fragment of time, what was unclear suddenly revealed itself to me. He died and he wasn’t coming back.
Cancer is the epitome of fear. It has always taken until it has nothing left to take. And that was what I hated and still hate about it. At first, it’s invisible and incapable of being felt yet at the same time, it’s invincible with the power to abolish everything and anything in its way.
But when I was a child, I was fearless. Simply put, cancer just wasn’t real to me. Instead, it seemed something like that of a fairy tale or a faraway fantasy that didn’t have the ability or need to materialize into my life. So when it knocked unexpectedly at our doors, I wasn’t in a state of denial, I just didn’t believe in its existence. All I knew was that my grandparents were leaving for treatment back in our hometown.
Pain wasn’t tangible at that time because other then the doctor’s diagnosis, I couldn’t see any difference in my still fence climbing and fast running grandpa. So I still went about life with an innocent indifference that things were okay and would be okay. In hindsight, I really do wish with all my life that I could rewind those times because when time flies, it flies fast.
For the past decade of my life my grandfather lived and then eventually passed away from cancer. A cancer that at first was dormant and then quickly made itself known within the past few years when I saw his flesh unbelievably cave into his bones. From one hundred seventy pounds to one hundred ten pounds and then to just under one hundred when he passed away last year. How drastic is the exponential change of one’s body after such a long period of total normality! It’s truly disgusting to have to see the forced okays of a loved one trying to mask this incomprehensible pain that at the same time is being experienced by millions worldwide. You see, after a few years of experiencing cancer within my family, I started opening my eyes and I literally began to feel just how many people were living or lived with cancer. I felt it in the hugs I gave to my friend who had lost her aunt to breast cancer or through the tear soaked shirt my church friend cried through when she lost her mother, or in the vibrations of shrieks I felt the nights I stayed at the hospital beside a too young girl going through treatment. All these things over the years have amalgamated into a sorrow that stains my heart because it is a constant reminder that while I live there are those succumbing to an unwelcomed fate and have lost opportunities to chase their dreams.
I have always loved helping people either through service or small things, but a part of me has always yearned to work towards something bigger. I don’t know the exact details of what I want to do, but I know I want to do something. Something that will help eradicate this terrible disease, something that will alleviate the suffering of millions of people, something that will create a legacy in hearts emphasizing the possibility in the impossible. It is always possible and I truly believe that.