The 4th of February is the World Cancer Day. That means that today we remember all those who suffer from it or all those we’ve lost to cancer.
I think by now everyone has been touched by this disease in one or another way… We’ve either met someone who had it…a friend…a family member…a parent…or had it ourselves.
I also think that today shouldn’t be a special day…every day should be World Cancer Day. Not Breast Cancer, not Skin Cancer..just Cancer. I think there should be more support groups not only for those who are going through it, but also for those close to them..
As some of you know, I lived in Vienna for a year with my Aunt Renate. What most of you don’t know is that the day I arrived she told me she had cancer. Lung cancer to me more precise. She said she didn’t want to tell me before because she was afraid I wouldn’t go anymore. Looking back that makes me smile…not because of what she said…but because she actually thought I wouldn’t have gone..when the truth is, had I known, I would have been there already in the beginning of Summer.
That year was the best and the worst in my life so far. It was the best because I had the opportunity to actually live with such an amazing woman…an even more amazing mother..and someone I could truly (and for the first time) call family. It was also the worst year because I had that impending feeling that I could not have her there the next day. Was I being selfish? Probably. Even though I had known her my whole life…we would write each other every month and talk on the phone…we had only been together three times until that year. The first time I saw her, hugged her and kissed her was when I was nine and we had to drive up to Hamburg for my Opa’s funeral. I remember she was very proud when I kicked a reporter after he asked me if I was sad my Opa had died. I guess that was the first form of paparazzi.
Even though I had not lived near her until 2009, I instantly felt at home! I was in a safe place. It’s well known that I don’t really get along with my Mom’s family…they’re aren’t the type of people I want to be around..I’m not saying they’re bad people…but they always judge everyone…me specially. The fact that my Mother went and married a foreigner (how could she?!) and came back home with a husband no one knew a two year old daughter just never made them happy..and I was always the one that got criticized.. Not with her though…she never judged me..always supported me…and the most funny part, told me old stories from her and my Dad as kids!!! I loved those moments we had…and when she has surgery on February 8th 2010 I was terrified…I sat on the hospital chapel and just cried..a Nun came in a sat next to me..and laughed when I apologized for making noise while she was praying! She held my hand and talked to me for hours. That was the only time I let someone see me cry because of what was happening to my Aunt.
I moved back home in the Summer 2010. On the 5th of March 2011 my mother called me in the morning to let me know my aunt Renate had passed away. I was shocked…hurt…mad..specially because she hadn’t told us she was worse…no one had..she made everyone promise they wouldn’t..and I hate that she didn’t…because I know my Dad would have liked to see her again one last time…I’m just happy he went to “pick me up” and stayed for a week when I was coming back home.
I had another sister of my Dad dying from cancer…ironically also from Lung cancer. But no one will ever be as hard to lose as my Aunt Renate was. I am so happy I had the time to get to know her…share her secrets…laugh while eating ice-cream and chocolate…and getting to know that she was as addicted to fries as I am!
Cancer is a horrible disease. The dad of a friend of mine is currently also going through this. Another type…more complicated, but in the end cancer is cancer…no matter what kind. All I can say is…an early diagnose is the way to go! If you feel that something isn’t right, go to the doctor..take exams..do some blood work. Go to the dermatologist every year. Get to know your body and listen to it…it’s never wrong!
I know it can be hard to live with cancer. If you have someone in your family, friend group or are affected by it in any way and want someone to talk to…please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can always tweet me or send me a private message on the blog’s Facebook Page!
I am always here for you…