I crushed wheat grass today, after I saw mom having a hard time using a new appliance dad bought to get his daily shot of wheat grass. It might seem like nothing extraordinary except for the fact that I wouldn’t be doing that if dad didn’t have cancer. While doing it, I remembered a message I received yesterday from someone who has battled cancer for several years, telling me: “Tomorrow is cancer day. Please share with others”.
My first instinct was to reply with a “thank you for letting me know”, but then all I wanted to do was to cry. I was moved to tears, and not even a single thought was crossing my mind. It is curious how in moments like this, the mind gets separated from the soul. Then I started thinking what would I do to let people know about this day, because I didn’t even want to give it a day, or a special moment. I remembered my very first post when I was not able to say the word “cancer”, when all of a sudden it became a taboo, and how over the months after dad’s diagnosis I have been able to open up and use the word to refer to dad’s illness.
I thought of looking for a nice hologram to upload to Facebook, or even to share a story about my own story, but I didn’t want it to be a sad one, and at that moment I was not in a happy mood. And then, it came to my mind a radio program dad was listening to, two days ago at home, where an oncologist and the doctor that treats him with an alternative therapy, were discussing how cancer can be treated and how it has been mystified. People do not die of cancer as they do not die of multiple sclerosis, but somehow cancer is the big threatening disease. Not for a minute I am diminishing how devastating it can be, emotionally or physically, but I have learned to look at dad’s illness as I would any other. Sure, it has its particular symptoms, treatments, and challenges. I have seen people suffer from cancer in all possible ways but I will not mention them, because their victories are stronger than their struggles. Yes, I have lost loved ones with cancer, and of course I have felt the emptiness and impotence of not being able to fight death. But, as with any other serious illness, and as we know from what comes with life every day, there are only some things we can control, and life and death are not our call.
I could list what “cancer” has brought to my life and my family, but I will not, although I have to say it has brought a mix of feelings. I am still fighting the fact that brought me to tears yesterday morning, and that is my personal battle too. I am not even sure today is “cancer day” but all I remembered as I crushed that wheat grass with mom and dad was getting his daily dose of exercise, was that I am sure I would have been doing exactly the same thing, with the same love, risking not getting on time to work, even if he only had a cold.
As a good friend of mine told me once when sharing his story, and his wife’s battle to survive a breast tumor, I remembered his words while thinking about cancer day; there was only one sure thing he repeated himself during the whole battle process, and it was: “Fuck cancer”.
-September 17th, 2014