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A Moment in Time: Cancer, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 1050

Essay

There was once a time that I had to face the devastation of having a family member that is terminally ill. This brought out many feelings and aspects of my personality that often stay hidden. I found out that my uncle had lung cancer. This is a glimpse of that moment in time. My uncle had cancer and I had many mixed emotions about the situation. It is important to reflect on important life events.

I remember when a family member called to inform of my uncle’s illness. “He has lung cancer, and it has spread to his liver and his bones,” I was told. My initial reaction was thinking, “Oh, I am sorry.” Simply that. But why do we apologize when bad things happen, and who exactly are we apologizing to. I started thinking a lot that day.

My uncle was always a strong man. One who takes care of his family and always is willing to help others out. He is a loving man. He was always my favorite uncle.

The memories started to flood back. All the aspects of our relationship that had been lost over the years. I grew up close to this particular uncle. Memories included the time he went hunting when I was four and brought home a dead bunny, then told me it was the Easter Bunny. This incessant teasing is something I remember fondly. It sounds cruel, but it was not.

Other memories include, the family barbeques at his house, him letting me drive the lawnmower, and threatening my mother that he was going to teach me drive his car. His smile that was always present in these situations.

I remembered his wife, his children, and thought about them and their pain in dealing with this harsh situation. The thought that he may soon die and how would they feel? What is he feeling?

I remember thinking of his siblings. One was lost to cancer previously and now another. How are they? Are they scared for their brother, scared for themselves? The disease must be partially genetic, or was it caused by all his bad habits?

But then, the feelings of guilt set in. We moved from the area when I was young. From here I lost touch with many family members. This particular family member I had not spoken to in years. I cared a lot about him, but how could I show this now? I could not possibly call only because he was sick.  I had seen him at family gatherings, but it was not that same as when I was a child.

I felt guilty for letting this relationship slide, only to be brought this terrible news. I saw a picture of him, a couple days after he found out. He looked broken, sad, depressed. I wanted to reach out to him, but did not know how.

Then there was sadness. Sadness for lost relationships. Sadness that I did not keep in touch. Sadness that I may never see this man again. We now live fourteen hours apart, so I could not just stop by his house. A phone call was the best that I could do, and would that be good enough?

So I didn’t call. I thought a lot about this. What would I say? I am sorry that your dying. I am sorry that you have cancer. It didn’t seem like a conversation that I wanted to have. It would be awkward and uncomfortable.

There was also anger involved. Anger that this was happening to him. Anger that the prior the doctors had found a spot on his lungs, but he was unwilling to have the testing down to find out what it was. Why wasn’t this taken care of earlier? Would it have even helped? Probably not and why question it now? What is done is done.

There was also some hope. Could the doctors fix it? Hopefully chemotherapy will help. If not, I sincerely hoped that he would live the rest of his life to the fullest. Do the things that he wants to do. Spend the rest of his days being as happy as possible. But is happiness possible when you are terminally ill?

Then there was acceptance. My uncle has lung cancer. There is nothing I can do. Chemotherapy may help, but the doctors have not made this determination at this time. I will call him, but not today.

He has many important aspects of his life to deal with right now. He has to tell family members. He has to listen to them and feel what they feel. Because if we take a look at sickness, we as people often make it a selfish thing. Though he is the one who is sick, we are grieving and at this time we think more about our grief, then the pain that the sick person feels.

These underlying tones of my personality are things that I reflect about. I care about people, but often do not show it. I feel guilty about aspects of my life that I could have changed, but bury it inside myself. I feel anger, but try my best to control it.

These are not things that I am willing to admit. I like to hide the more sensitive side of my personality. As a man, these aspects of myself make me feel weak. Feel like less of a man. So I bury it. I seem cool, calm, and collective even in the worst situations. This is the way it should be.

It is sad really, that our culture leads us to think in such a manner. We should be able to show our feelings without the thought of being judged, but this is not the way of our world, the way of our society.

So, I will continue to do as do. I will act as if nothing breaks my exterior. I will be strong. This is how it is. Even if inside it hurts. Feelings are pushed aside, so that I can feel good about myself, so that I will not be judged.

This was a glimpse of a moment in time. A moment in my life that was devastating. But a moment in my life in which I realized many things about myself. A moment in which I felt guilt, anger, sadness, hope, and grief. There are often many of these moments in a lifetime.

Time is precious

Time is precious

don’t waste it!

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