Cancer is a thief.
You know all those preconceived notions that one day cancer will just be a word people
read in a history book?
Well those people are wrong.
I hate to burst your dreaming bubble but cancer is a living thing. It grows, it is
responsive, and it adapts in order to thrive. Turn to the person next to you and ask them if their
family has had any run-ins with cancer. I dare you.
Cancer is unreal until it happens to you.
My family had just moved to Oklahoma. Not six months passed until I learned that my
16- year-old cousin Kate died from bone cancer. We used to live next door to each other.
My family went back to Texas for her funeral. I was 12 at the time.
It has been eight years since she died.
At the funeral, I remember thinking that Kate never appeared to be sick. I didn’t
understand how she had died so quickly.
Now, I can only remember a single image of her. She was learning to drive, and I guess
she was on her way home from a doctor’s appointment. I was in the yard playing when she
pulled up and stopped her car to talk to me.
I remember looking up through the car window, which was halfway rolled down. Kate
was wearing a camouflage hat with rhinestones on it, but I knew that the hair falling out from
under that hat wasn’t hers. If you looked close enough, you could see the tiny stitches holding
the fake hair inside the seam of her hat.
Even though my parents acted like Kate wasn’t going to be with us much longer, I never
truly believed that she would die. She was my cousin and I looked up to her. I loved her.
On my mother’s 19th birthday, her father died. His cancer of the stomach finally
I know what you’re thinking, ‘Happy Birthday,’ right? Her mother remarried not far down
the road, and I have an awesome step-grandfather, so it all worked out.
I’m just kidding. Don’t get all offended and righteous because I joke about a serious
subject. I have two grandfathers on my mother’s side. One of which I do not know. Yet I am told
that he would have made an excellent grandfather.
He was a person worth knowing, and God only knows how many people like that are in
this world. Once again, cancer leaves its scar on the ones seemingly less deserving.
Cancer not only takes over the person it inhabits but it also lays waste to the people who
are close to its unlucky prey. In other words, instead of controlling one person’s life, cancer
controls all those who know the individual. Your life transforms, making you a despondent slave,
driven by the need and desire to cater to the cancer’s displeasures.
I am not saying that one should not help the victim. However, often by helping the victim
you also feed the unforgiving cancer.
My aunt Margaret fell prey to a nasty brain tumor. The dang thing grew so fast there was
hardly any hope from the very beginning. That’s the thing about cancer, most of the time there is
no hope and that is more despairing and languishing than the sickness itself.
Cancer is a hopeless sickness, the most dangerous kind.
Cancer only exists to the people it effects. The rest are immune to its formidable