5 Things You Learn When You Have A Parent Battling Cancer
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5 Things You Learn When You Have A Parent Battling Cancer

These are some of the most valuable lessons I have learned in my life thus far.

5 Things You Learn When You Have A Parent Battling Cancer
Kaylee Faw

In 2014, my family received news that no family should ever have to receive. My dad was diagnosed with cancer just days before my sixteenth birthday, and we honestly all just felt lost. So many questions were running through my mind. Why us? Why him? What if the worst scenario becomes our reality? This was hands down one of the hardest things I have ever been through with my family, but I am so incredibly blessed to be able to say that my dad has been in remission for a few years now. Despite this being such a difficult time to get through, there are some very valuable lessons that I took away from this moment in my life. These are just a few of the things you learn as a child of a cancer patient.

1. Never take life for granted.

This is one of the biggest things I learned when my dad was going through cancer. It is really easy sometimes to just waste the days away because we expect that we have all of the time in the world to make something of our lives, or to just make happy memories. But we don't always get that luxury, and after experiencing the fear of not knowing what is going to happen, I have learned to live each day to the absolute fullest. Don't wait. If you want something, go get it. If you love someone, tell them. Live each day like you aren't sure if you will get another. I cannot stress this enough. Tomorrow is something we are not promised, so do not take today for granted.

2. You are both stronger than you think.

This is another incredibly important thing I learned during this time. Nothing is harder than having to essentially reverse roles with your parent when they are weak. I have grown up so comfortable with the fact that my dad will be there for me no matter what, and that he would always be strong when I was not. But now, it was my turn. I drove my dad back and forth to appointments and took care of him when he could not take care of himself, which is something I never thought I would be capable of doing. But not only was I stronger than I thought, he was too. I saw him fight every single day with so much strength and determination and that was beyond inspiring. He even kept coaching his little league basketball team throughout chemotherapy because it kept him motivated. After going through this, I am fully convinced there is nothing that we cannot get through.

3. It's the little things that matter.

Sometimes I feel like we get way too caught up in wanting, wanting, wanting so many extravagant things in our life that we never really stop and cherish the little moments that we are blessed with. When you have a parent battling cancer, you recognize this all too well. What I missed the most when my dad was staying overnight at hospitals during chemo was just being able to go in the living room and annoy him or scream over basketball games together. Now, I live for these moments with my dad by my side, and there is no moment spent with him that is not of huge significance to me. Whether its eating pizza or going on vacation, everything is important. Even if you don't have a parent who has battled cancer, this is something you should still apply to your own life.

4. You would be totally lost without them.

I have always been a daddy's girl, but this is so much stronger in my mind now. My dad is literally my rock, my best friend, and I cannot even begin to imagine what my life would have been like had he not made it through his battle. A lot of times we begin to take our parents for granted as we grow up, and begin to think that we can do life without them. But honestly looking back now I was scared out of my mind because I knew I couldn't do life without my best friend and father by my side. He inspires me so much every single day and I am forever grateful that we are still able to make memories together.

5. Be thankful every single day.

If you take anything away from this article, let it be this: You don't need to have a family member with cancer to learn to be thankful that you are alive, that your loved ones are alive, and that you still have time to make the best of life that you can. Please just live every day like it's the last, never hesitate to go for what you want, and always remember to tell your loved ones how much you appreciate them, because one day you might not be able to.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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