Hi, my names Keeley and currently I am the age of 17. This is my story of how the word Cancer changed mine and my family’s life.
Cancer!! That’s what was on my mind all day on the 31st of August 2017, I didn’t know why though, maybe because I was nervous for my dad’s results that he took multiple tests for or the fact that after 12:00pm on that specific day my life got a different meaning. On the 31st of August 2017, my life had taken a turn for the worst. Why? Because my dad told his lovely children that he had cancer, yes, the terrible disease that has took many innocent lives of different ages. On that specific day though I was feeling nervous and very shaken, I didn’t know if it was because I was starting Sixth Form in a few days or the fact that I was waiting on my parents to tell us the results of dads tests. I was at the time thinking it was more of a 70% chance of me feeling nervous and shaken for what my parents were going to tell me while it being a 30% chance of me feeling nervous for what the new school year was going hold for me.
After what seemed like hours but was actually only about half an hour, my parents called us all downstairs, so dad could tell us what the doctors/surgeons found in the tests that he had done. While walking down those stairs, I was already thinking that they were going to say that they found cancer cells in his body. I didn’t know however, that by opening the door my life was basically going to change. Opening the door, I saw my brothers and parents faces holding different emotions, brothers were just pure boredom and curiosity and parents were just shock and pure hatred. Mine however was just pure curiosity and nerves showing on my face. Soon as everyone had settled my mum told us the dreadful results of the tests. Dad had the C-word CANCER, I swear my whole world stopped for a moment at that specific time. I had tears on my face as well as my parents and my oldest but younger than me brother (14 at the time) we was all crying well except my two youngest brothers. Mum came over to me and held me while we both cried, and dad went over to Cameron and held him while they both cried in to each-other’s arms. Due to this mum called Rylee (8 at the time) over to us and dad called Kai (13 at the time) over to him and Cameron, so basically a big family hug, but in two separate groups. Everyone other than Rylee and Kai were full of tears and struggling to breath because of how distraught they were at the time to find out that the person you have looked up to in life and in height had Cancer. At the time though, we didn’t know what Cancer he had and what stage he was in.
After some time, we could leave to go to our rooms and message some of our friends about the news if we wanted. Soon as I came into my room I did calm down as the realisation that what I had just been through was definitely not a nightmare or a dream gone horribly bad. It was in fact reality, not a dream or nightmare. This was just how life changed for the better as I looked at life in a different perspective and for the worse as I found out that the person who created me and was the person who taught me so many things including how to tie my school tie and how to use photoshop on the iMac had Cancer. Soon as I stopped heavily breathing and shaking I managed to type a message to someone who was going to sixth form with me, about finding out dad had Cancer. I copied that exact same message to some other close friends with some knowing dad and thinking that he was a good person who was rarely ill, (if you don’t count the many times he had the ‘man flu’).
About an hour had passed before my mum came into my room and suggested me eating something because it passed lunch time. I refused, I couldn’t even think about eating anything due to it making me feel sick. So, then my mum left my room for a few minutes before she came back in and told me that we were going out because we needed to get my school uniform ready and brought for the following week for school, and i think my parents just wanted to get out the house. After many minutes that went by everyone had their shoes and coats on and we was ready to get out the house for a bit . My dad drove to the school uniform shops where I had to try on different school jumpers and shirts while Cameron and Rylee had taken my phone and spammed my phone with multiple pictures of them laughing and giggling into the camera. While that was happening, Kai was looking on his phone and dad was in the T4 making a video to post on Facebook and Instagram for friends and family to watch and to let them know that dad had been told he had Cancer. We did not realise at the time though that dad was doing the video or had done other videos while he was having his many tests. About half an hour later everyone was huddled into the T4 and we then carried on with our journey to somewhere in the world. Which we found was a shopping square where we tend to go to a lot and had food in one of the restaurants that were there. I didn’t eat much at all from what I ordered. In fact no one ate that much food. Soon as everyone finished the food which wasn’t that much, we went to the beach for an early evening walk which was nice but very cold due to the change of weather and season that was fast approaching.
After about a couple of weeks dad had told us that he had to have operation to remove the tumour which was between the size of your of your thumb nail to your thumb. That day, us children had to attend school and because mum had to take dad to the hospital with my granddad (on dads’ side). My uncle came to look after us and take us to school and pick us up while also sort dinner for us. That day was full of nerves and possible excitement that dad was going to be having the tumour removed and sent of for testing while dad was recovering. Little did we know that from that day onwards would be more tests and chemotherapy sessions in place for once a month until the sessions were over.
From then onwards was a blur. I honestly can not remember anything that happened from that day of the first operation to the day where dad had the all clear of Cancer. From the first operation to the last, the days were filled with annoyance from listening to my parents talking about when the next chemotherapy session was going to be. To being nervous on each day when the chemotherapy session was happening because I didn’t know if dad was going to be worse than the first session he had where he felt ill and became sick with flu like symptoms as that day went on or better. Luck was on our side though, he didn’t feel ill or sick. The only side affects he had as the chemotherapy sessions progressed ranged from feeling cold, which was normal due to the start of the chemotherapy sessions being on days in the Winter, to just having cold finger tips. He powered through each session and still went out at 7:45 in the morning to defrost the car so me and my brothers could go to school. That right there made me happy that he powered through the feeling cold or the cold finger tips. It did however make me quite nervous because for all I know dad could be putting on a brave face in front of us when he is in a lot of pain and not wanting to show his children.
Throughout the period of when the chemotherapy sessions were taken place it wasn’t just the feeling of being happy and nerves. It was the times where I felt depressed and if anyone else was in the exact position I was in they would have felt depressed to. Me feeling depressed was more to the fact that the countless times where you had to hear your hero as well as your father saying he was wanting to just quit the chemotherapy sessions and more depressing sayings he had thought the previous night and had just burst talking to mum. That is when I tended to feel depressed and upset with dad, because if he went with his thoughts and feelings, he might not be here today or in the future when he watches his children finish school to go off to college, university or sixth form. But luckily though dad didn’t go through with his thought, he carried on through the chemotherapy sessions like it was planned until the sessions were done.
Maybe a couple weeks after the last chemotherapy session he had some tests done to see if the chemotherapy worked and the Cancer cells were gone. Proud to say, a week or two later we all went to the hospital, so dad can get the results of the tests that he had done. The results came back as ALL CLEAR. Due to me and my brothers not knowing what the results were, we all were kind off nervous to find out. We were confused as to why we ended up with having a take away for dinner that night and half way through the meal dad told us the results of the tests. Everyone was smiling and very happy with smiles hurting their faces but couldn’t care because of the happy news they had heard.
The Cancer journey doesn’t stop there though, like everyone thinks. Dad still must have yearly tests until the doctor or nurse says otherwise. He will be getting tested for Cancer I think for the rest of his life but not that frequently though unless if the Cancer came back.
That was my story of how the word Cancer changed a seventeen-year olds view on life and what I do with the future that is in front of me that so many people crave. Just remember that life is what you make it, if you want to go far in life do something about it and not let people get to you.