Cancer, you coward. You come in, invade our privacy and our lives and sap every last bit of strength until there's nothing but a shell of the person we once knew. You're radical, you're a force of great strength, and you're never welcome. You come in, using the back door, like a thief. Too afraid someone will see you and defeat you. You lie, giving people hope when you're actually thinking of returning and you steal dreams and desires... and time. But Cancer, yes, I can say your name boldly, you're a coward. You don't realise that in your boasting, your strength and your pomp that the very person you're trying to overshadow magnifies your weakness. They are brave in the face of threatened death, and take on suffering like a true hero. They are poised and dignified. Not in their bodies, as you have stolen that, but in their hearts, where true strength lies. They hold up their family with a strength in their hearts unlike none I've ever seen, and they keep on loving. They love. Did I say they love? They love wildly until their very last breath. Some do beat you, and that is a miracle. Though for those that cannot, despite their wasting away, you cannot defeat their love or take away the memories they have faithfully saved for a time like this. So Cancer, in reality, you're a coward. The one that's the hero, the winner, the brave last man standing is in fact the very one you despise, and you pale in comparison. They are the heroes. They are the winners. They are the biggest person here, not you. You're the coward.
He went in for a cough, just a cough, and came out with inoperable, untreatable stage 4 melanomic lung cancer. Woah, nobody is ever ready for that. It smashed our world to a point where you can't even think. I flew over to South Africa (where I grew up) with my babies within a week, and we spent a very precious but highly strung 5 weeks with him. He deteriorated so very quickly, though he lasted 3 months after the diagnosis. What a man, making sure my mum had the support she needed, and that the home business was closed for Christmas - he died that same day. My mum says he was still making jokes, up until his last day. Unfortunately it was a stroke that got him in the end, and then he was gone within a week. We are absolutely devastated and miss him terribly, though our fond memories of his love and our times with him keep us strong. For me, it is all the times I lay on his bed next to him while he was having a bad day, holding his hand. I could have done so for hours. This blog is for you, because this is what we saw in you. Mom, you're the strongest woman that I know and I am so grateful that I get to be by your side, walking this out, even though you're a million miles away.
My Nana had a long struggle with cancer and like my dad, showed great strength. xx
For all those who have lost loved ones to cancer or who are going through it right now, and to those who will go through it - wow, it's hard. I am so sorry. Sometimes life isn't fair, and sometimes we can get so sick of making lemonade from those stinking lemons. But chin up, grief is hard, and we've got this.
From my heroes to yours, I salute.