My Dear Uncle, Cancer Highlighted Your Strengths

My Dear Uncle, Cancer Highlighted Your Strengths

You are stronger than any of the opposing forces against you.

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Cancer skulked in the shadows of your precious life, and waited for the exact moment of pure happiness to attack. It gained forceful control over your glory, while stomping on the hearts of those who care most for you. It left you powerless with medications that only made you excessively ill and unable to look at your reflection without feeding into the endless insecurity and unimaginable doubt. It is awfully easy to speak as an outsider who has not experienced true pain, pain that not only damaged your physical body, but pain that prevented a visualization of peace.

Cancer does not define you, though it does remain a vital part of your captivating story. This piece of your story demanded that you prepare for the disruptive madness that was in store for you, yet it failed to give you insight beforehand that such horror was on its way to haunt you. The hardships of cancer that you were unexpectedly handed, tested your willingness to challenge such a terrorizing force. As cancer attempted to rob you of your unforgettable spirit, you found reasons and abilities to avoid letting such a cloud of darkness burden you and your surroundings. As cancer pushed to destroy your perception of hope, you found the desire to comfort your family. Although, you were the one that needed an escape of such dreadful pains that overshadowed the excitement for life you were once consumed in. Your strength has taught me a lot about struggle. I never understood the meaning of pain until witnessing your delightful energy transition into an inescapable fear as the possibility of death suddenly arose. Every moment you were filled with dread and despair that made you feel unbelievably alone, as the people who love you most stood questioning how to help without the needed powers to heal you. Yet, these powers surfaced from within because you were able to undermine such darkness with outstanding perseverance.

Through the constant cycle of tortures, you have defined the term "hero" by refusing to let go of your dedication, passions, and efforts in all that you stand for.

The fear in your heart did not prevent you from remodeling your already successful business into a work of art.

You were there for your employees every single day to offer your expertise and guidance even after your wretched chemotherapy treatments. As your balding became apparent and your weakness troubled your movements, you maintained the role of an exceptional boss.

You continued to be a flawless father, uncle, husband, son, and friend even when faced with the ultimate form of gloom. Your selfless character shined through your inner hurting as you cared deeply about every detail of your family's life despite your mental and physical anguish.

You engaged with fascinating levels of motivation that fought against cancer wishing to change your life routine. You were a warrior even when you could foresee the possibility of your life ending.

Even after incredibly defeating this monster, you will continue to be our source of inspiration.

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To The Grandmothers Who Made Us The Women We Are Today

Sincerely, the loving granddaughters.
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The relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter is something so uniquely special and something to be treasured forever.

Your grandma loves you like you are her own daughter and adores you no matter what. She is the first person you run to when you have a problem with your parents and she never fails to grace you with the most comforting advice.

She may be guilty of spoiling you rotten but still makes sure to stress the importance of being thankful and kind.

Your grandma has most likely lived through every obstacle that you are experiencing now as a young adult and always knows just exactly what to say.

She grew up in another generation where things were probably much harder for young women than they are today.

She is a walking example of perseverance, strength, and grace who you aim to be like someday.

Your grandma teaches you the lessons she had to learn the hard way because she does not want you to make the same mistakes she did when she was growing up.

Her hugs never fail to warm your heart, her smile never fails to make you smile, and her laugh never fails to brighten your day.

She inspires you to be the best version of yourself that you can be.

You only hope that one day you can be the mother and grandmother she was to you.

A piece of girl’s heart will forever belong to her grandma that no one could ever replace.

She is the matriarch of your family and is the glue that holds you all together.

Grandmothers play such an important role in helping their granddaughters to grow into strong, intelligent, kind women.

She teaches you how to love and how to forgive.

Without the unconditional love of your grandma, you would not be the woman you are today.

To all of the grandmothers out there, thank you for being you.

Sincerely,

the loving granddaughters

Cover Image Credit: Carlie Konuch

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3 Realizations Forced Upon Me By My Father's Cancer Diagnosis

When my father was diagnosed, family became so much more important.

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My father was recently diagnosed with cancer, curable thankfully. The whole diagnosis process has made me realize certain things about myself and about society. I realized that nothing in this world is guaranteed, no matter how much we think our parents will always be there to catch us when we fall. I realized that the American healthcare system is a web that no one wants to be caught in, especially a patient who has enough worries. Lastly, I realized the power of family and what it means to have people by your side.

1. My father is a mortal being

It sounds pretty dumb, but children never think that their parents are ever going to get hurt. Why would they? Parents are these invincible superheroes who protect us. Though my father's form of cancer is curable, I was brought to tears thinking about my father as fragile and scared. It comes as a shock that one day our parents will feel pain, and won't be stronger than us. The thought of a parent's mortality makes one feel so lonely and vulnerable, that your mind drifts to accomplishing milestones with none of your loved ones by your side. This led me to cherish the time I have with everyone, not just my dad.

Up until now, I had taken all of my friends and family for granted. I took for granted that they were always there and always cared. Once time is gone, it's gone, and that is the essence of mortality. We are all mortal, though it's hard to remember as a college student joyriding through new experiences. Love your parents and take care of them. Trust me.

2. Having cancer is so much more than just the illness... it's also dealing with American healthcare

The American healthcare system is truly a business that profits off the ill, and showcases the dark side of capitalism. Good health and survival are bought by the rich, and those fortunate to have enough sufficient insurance. An example of this is insulin. Insulin worldwide is the most expensive in the United States. Other countries are able to sell it anywhere from ten to twenty dollars, but America sells it for $140. While my family is fortunate, I think about most people who don't have insurance or are below middle-class. American healthcare is a system of payments that just reminds oneself of the financial toll of being ill. When doctors prescribe a medication, and a pharmacy notifies you that your insurance doesn't cover it, the patient is dragged in circles communicating between doctors, pharmacies, and insurance companies.

This stress is something no patient should have to deal with, but that's the reality of American healthcare: chaos with no real answers.

3. Treatment at home is all about support

When my father was diagnosed, family became so much more important. When you have people to support you emotionally, cancer seems so much more approachable. The "We're all in this together" mentality takes tons off the shoulders and creates an environment conducive to healing. To those of you supporting someone who's ill, you need your support system too. By taking care of yourself, you are able to take care of your loved one. Remember that you need to be strong so that people can depend on you, and that begins with having a few friends to keep you smiling and laughing. People that love and support us is what we need at the end of the day.

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