There’s an indescribable feeling you get when you receive this kind of news. It’s one of those moments when words physically hurt. It’s as if the words are a knife cutting deep into your heart as blood comes gushing out. Time stops, and your world comes crashing down, the way waves do, as they abruptly sweep away creatures aimlessly walking the shoreline.

Cancer. Unfortunately, this word is regularly used in everyday conversation, but you never truly understand its meaning until it directly affects you in some sort of way. It almost seems like an imaginary thing only taking its victims on TV shows or movies. Sure, you feel awful when you hear stories of those inflicted with cancer, but when you get a phone call informing you that your grandfather is now the one battling this disease, that is when cancer is no longer imaginary. It is, in fact, real. And the reality that it could possibly take one of the most important people in your life is breathtaking. Not breathtaking in the way when you see a sunrise, or sunset, or when you have a slow, soft first kiss. Breathtaking, in the sense that you quite literally feel like the pain is so bad you can barely breathe. Like when you have your first heartbreak and feel as if the pain will never cease to exist.

Your only instinct is to break down and think of everything bad that can happen. How could it not, when your loved one could possibly be taken away from you by this awful disease. Emotions come pouring out and all you want to do is tell them how much you love them, and how monumental they have been throughout your life. Because the thought of never being able to walk through the door and be greeted by them is your biggest fear. Or never having the opportunity to watch football on Sunday afternoons. Or even simply driving to the grocery store in silence, just being in each other’s presence would be unbearable to live without. But the truth is, they can fight it. They can stare this thing dead in the eyes and win because they are stronger than that. And you have to be strong too, because the only way to beat it, is to show your unconditional love and support. So although cancer is one of the most terrifying things on this earth, it can be conquered.