I always want to wake up from this nightmare. I want to go back to November when my brother hadn’t yet been diagnosed with cancer and when he was alive. Sometimes, when I am alone my car, I just start crying for no reason. Then I realize why I am crying, I start to cry more. It isn’t fair – he died way too young. I wanted more time and I hate that I envy those people that get years with their family before the cancer takes them. A few days ago, a family friend passed away – an older man who was diagnosed with stomach cancer about five years ago. I was upset that he had gotten five years with his family and my brother only got a miserable and painful month. I hope that feeling like that doesn’t make a bad person.
My older sister and I talked today about him and how much we missed him, and how we just wished we had more time. What we don’t have is regrets. We did our research and we exhausted every resource to make sure he got the help he needed to fight the cancer but in the end the cancer won. It was too far gone. Maybe it makes me selfish but I just wanted a few more months even if that meant he would be in hospice care. He deserved to die with dignity instead of hooked up to machines but it was never our call. God called him home and he accepted that with more dignity and more humility than any of us would have.
Today I wondered whether I would have taken his place because I never once thought that when he was sick. I would have never taken a diagnosis like that with any dignity and I would have fought like hell to make sure that the cancer didn’t win. He was so content with what life handed him that he was willing to embrace God without any reservation. I can’t imagine myself being that content and that satisfied with life. But he was.
My cousin’s cancer is back. I think she is either at the third or fourth occurrence. A lady I work with, Sue, her cancer’s back too. Cancer, the majority of the time, comes back. I hate cancer and I hate how many lives it takes. It affected my family in a way we had never been affected before. We thought we were so immune from tragedy especially after my sister and my cousin went into remission. Now it is like our perfect world is no longer possible. None of us are immune from tragedy. We are fragile and vulnerable.
For so long, cancer wasn’t a major part of our lives. Now it is memory that hurts. All of us feel it daily and it is a reminder that one of us of gone. We were seven children and now we are only six. The lesson learned is that we are not immune from tragedy. Life is so short and anyone can be taken away from us at anytime. We don’t have a choice when it comes to these things. God decides who comes home and when.