But really, what is cancer? It's cells in our bodies that continue to replicate and can't stop. Each of these cells are our own and are not foreign to our body. It's a process that occurs naturally and yet it is so unnatural because the cells are unable to stop replicating. These cells somehow become this huge cloud of worry and fear; the fear seems almost as destructive as the cancer itself.
This summer, my father had his thyroid taken out because there were cancerous cells in it. My dad says this summer has been like being initiated into a club that he never wanted to be a part of; part of my life story now includes my papa being diagnosed with cancer. The label of cancer seems to loom over bigger than it needs to; it was particularly hard to give support to people that were dealing with a cancer diagnosis while in CPE because I had my dad's story on my tongue.
For me, there has been a shift in seeing cancer as this dangerous, deadly monster to see it as something that people are living with. Life continues on; a new sense of normalcy begins to emerge as the storm of diagnosis settles down. It's been helpful to be back here in Colorado for a bit to experience the life post-diagnosis for my parents. As it turns out, cancer jokes are hilarious. It's much easier to belly laugh about it than wring my hands and shout out frustrations.
Does cancer suck? Yes, it totally does. It includes a shift in lifestyle, adds plenty of medical bills, and forces in new perspectives about the world and our bodies. I'm still soaking it in and I think my whole family is. All I know is that I'm glad to be able to laugh about it with my dad and enjoy some moments with my parents this week. Love you Papa and Mama!