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Monday, September 27, 2010


Last night, we received some sad news. My sister’s mother-in-law, Marcia, had passed away. Marcia was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and had been battling the disease for over two years. It was a very tough battle for her – going through the Whipple procedure (which removes the cancerous part of the pancreas) and undergoing bouts of chemotherapy. In the end, she finally found peace from the relentless cancer and died peacefully surrounded by her family. What makes this event even sadder for me, is the fact that this was the same disease that took my dad away from us. Ironically, my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a few weeks after Marcia. In fact, around that time, another very close family friend of ours (my Uncle Bobby) was also diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Uncle Bobby is still fighting the big fight. He also underwent the Whipple procedure (like Marcia and my dad) and also had numerous bouts of chemotherapy and other types of invasive treatments as well.

Two years ago, cancer (pancreatic or otherwise) was the farthest thing from my mind. Today, it has become such a part of our lives. There are days when I still cannot believe my dad is gone because of it. Sometimes I feel cheated thinking that at least Marcia and Uncle Bobby had two years to keep fighting the disease. My dad had just over 7 months till he was abruptly taken away from us. 7 months is an incredibly short amount of time and even if it felt like forever when we were waiting for results and waiting for dad to get better, in reality, it seems like my dad was gone just like that. Many times, I wish that since dad was diagnosed with cancer, at least he could have had the same amount of time others had (and much, much more) so we, as a family, could still take care of him, could still fight the cancer together, could still hope for a miracle. I would, in a heartbeat, take any additional time I could spend with my dad, even if he was very ill and we had to take care of him round-the-clock. But I know that is being selfish of me. I know that is not the kind of life my dad would want to have. He was always a practical man insisting he didn’t want to be attached to tubes and machines. He didn’t want to be a burden to anyone. That he would rather have a quality life than one purely based on quantity.

Everything happens for a reason. Once my mom and Marcia had a conversation about Marcia’s bouts with chemotherapy. And I remember Marcia distinctly telling my mom that maybe my dad was the lucky one whose battle with cancer ended sooner – and he no longer had to suffer as much. I had never thought of it that way. Of course, I don’t want my dad to suffer and even if it was so hard for me to let him go, in the end, the one thing that made it easier for me was knowing he was in a better place and that he was no longer going through any hardship. I still miss my dad every single day and I still think about him all the time, but in my heart, I know he is still with us in spirit and I do find consolation knowing that he is happy and at peace wherever he is. I wish the same for Marcia (that she is now at peace and no longer in pain) and I also pray that her family finds consolation in that fact.


Auntie Lillian said...

Losing a love one is never easy - we often think of your dad too. He is busy helping God with Heaven's finances - no recession there. Please convey our sympathy to Jenny and Mark.

Junarakasa said...

Haha. I am sure dad is busy balancing the books up there =)
Yes, I will convey your condolences to Atsi and Mark. Thanks, Auntie.