Growing up I was a Daddy's Girl all the way. We did everything together. Wether it was dancing to the nutcracker or having tea parties, my dad did it. He would do anything to put a smile on my face. Once a week, before dropping me off at daycare, he would take me to Krispy Kreme Donuts. It was like our special thing because he didn't do that with my bothers. He was not only my dad, he was my best friend, my hero.
One day my dad woke up with a terrible headache and an upset stomach. We just thought he was coming down with the flu, until the feelings got unbearable. My mom took him to the doctors while my two older brothers and I stayed at home. A few hours later we heard a car door. My mom walked through the door, her eyes pink and puffy, you could tell something was wrong. She told us that dad had brain cancer and that the doctors weren't expecting him to make it past a year. The doctors did chemo, and they cut his head in half so they could remove as much of the cancerous tumor as they could. This meaning that they had to remove a large portion of his brain which included his emotions.
Growing up after my dad got sick wasn't the same as before. He changed. We went from best friends to acquaintances. Sometimes he would talk to me, but usually it was awkward silence. I felt as though I lost him. I lost the person that could make me feel safe and loved no matter what. He used to exercise a lot, help around the house, drive all of us around, and just hang out with us. Now he sits on the couch and watches TV, works outside, but it takes him four hours to cut our small backyard, and he isolates himself from all of us.
Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if he didn't get sick...
Would he be that overprotective dad that grills the boys that come over to take me out? Would he love me as much as he used to? Would he be in the stands cheering for me at my basketball games? Would he be proud of me? I just wish that he had never gotten sick, but newsflash... we can't always get what we want. The only thing I can do is stay positive. He has beat the odds and kicked cancer's ass. Instead of living less than a year, he has made it 12 years so far. I have to be grateful that I have a dad and that he is still in my life. Sometimes it's hard to think that way but you have to do it to find happiness.
I would not have been able to get through what I did if it wasn't for my family and friends. They got my mom and I out of the house when all we wanted to do was stay inside. They paid for us to go to Disney as a family and cleaned our house while we were gone. Our family cooked us meals for a few weeks just so my mom didn't have to worry about it. They find a way to make you smile when all you want to do is crawl into a ball and cry. But if you have great friends and family like I do then you will see that everything will be okay.
Having a family member with cancer sucks, there is no other way of saying it. Life changes, people change, it's hard. Just because it's hard doesn't mean it's impossible. You have probably heard the saying "everything happens for a reason" or " this is God's plan." I know that when people say that to you it makes you a little mad. You are wondering "How could my family member having cancer be God's plan?" or "What's the reason that someone I really care about is sick?" I know that when you are upset that it doesn't help when people say this to you, but if you think about the smaller aspect of things, maybe someone getting sick made you a stronger person or made you become closer with the person. If you think about it in that way then you will be able to find at least one good thing out of this awful situation. The only thing you can do in this time of sadness is try your very hardest to stay positive and don't be afraid to ask people for help.
Thanks for reading.