Everything was going great: I had just graduated from college. I was getting ready to go to Paris for my graduation trip. I was applying for promising jobs teaching English overseas. Friends were good; work was good; life was good, perhaps a little too good. Because then it decided to throw the hugest curveball, which happened to hit me right in the stomach, leaving me winded and gasping for air.
Remember when my mom’s cancer came back and rapidly took her life away not even a whole year ago? Well, guess what?
My dad has prostate cancer.
He found out a few weeks ago and told me and my siblings a couple days afterward. Our initial reaction was shock: What the hell is prostate cancer? How did our dad get it and how serious is it? Could this really be happening to us again so soon after we lost our mom? Our reactions eventually turned from shock to sorrow: It’s already hard enough to be without one parent, but to be without both? I, personally, can’t even imagine not having any parents. But for my little siblings to not have any parents? It’s a completely heartbreaking reality to think about.
After telling us the horrible news, my dad proceeded to inform us of the seriousness of his newfound illness. Luckily, his cancer is only at stage T2, so there’s still a chance the doctors can catch it. However, the doctors have informed my dad that the cancer is aggressive, so he will need to have surgery to remove the tumor as soon as possible; his surgery is scheduled for March 1st.
So, that’s the huge life curveball that has come into my life recently. Know what’s ironic? I was just writing about this a month ago: “If life was easy, then it wouldn’t be life” and “When we least expect it, life will throw us a huge curveball, but it’s all for a reason” and “You’re going to get through it and become a stronger person in the process.” At the time when I was reflecting, I was so adamant and righteous. But now, I’m not so sure. Yes, life has its ups and downs, but this? Another parent with cancer? The possibility of my dad losing his life if his cancer can’t be treated? I don’t know if I’m strong enough to do this all again, especially since it hasn’t even been a year since my mom passed. On the outside, I’m putting on a happy face and acting like everything is okay, but on the inside, I’m scared and struggling. I feel like life is upside down and out of control and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. The one thing I can do, however, is to prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.