The unwanted sibling

Over these past few years of rigorous clinical training and work experience, I have been trying to developed this ability to look at things as objectively as I can, be as open, nonjudgmental, and unassuming in the face of every person and situation as I can. To allow the person and events unfold to me, to show me how they came out to be the way they are, how they presented the way they do…….I try to be as unconcerned with the ‘WHY’ as possible. Because the past is not my concern and the future is not governed by me, I just have this present moment to exist in and we need to live it as fully as possible.

I need to talk about this THING but my thoughts are very scattered. Let’s say that many of you would be familiar with how it goes when a new sibling is born, we are unable to tap the events preceding the arrival and suddenly there is this commotion and excitement as someone informs us that that we have a younger sibling. We feel very responsible taking initiative in best possible ways. There are days of increased energy in the house that eventually dies out and we become alive to how we are supposed to adjust to the new being that is living and breathing around us. We have to adjust most of our activities to its needs. Which leads to the development of an enmity towards it, but we don’t (or can’t) throw away siblings do we? So we live with it till we have to. And you know what’s the hardest part of it all, having to share your parents……they were YOUR parents, you had all their time, you had them physically and mentally to yourself but now you have to wait because they have someone else to deal with. So you have to share what you love with something you don’t like at all (am not using the word hate).

So last year in April, we were informed that we got a new family member called Renal Cell Carcinoma. Just keep reading before you go all judgmental on my analogies. So we were informed out of the blue that we have a new family member. I remember it as vividly as the goose bumps on my arms at this moment that we were struck really very hard. Everything stopped for a while in which we had to process this information….soon the commotion began which was colored with a lot of panic. I can’t precisely trace the days and nights that followed in the hospital because it was a mixture of panic and depression but as soon as we got back home a month and a half later we had accepted this new family member and now we had to adjust around it. My new sibling had found abode in my father so it became my favorite sibling because it’s MY father. He has been and would be mine for as long as I live and I know all his habits, likes-dislikes, his routine, so I will have to know this well enough too. Here is when I started looking at cancer as my sibling because I couldn’t live with it if I hated it. And I cannot NOT live with it, because we didn’t get a choice, no one does. So I was saying I befriended it, I studied about it and I made sure I was a step ahead of it by knowing what it feeds on, what it abhors, what it lives with, and how it reacts under different circumstances.

I am unable to chalk out when it all happened but it was this shift that allowed me to live with cancer by being a step ahead of it, I felt in control, I wouldn’t shy away from the responsibility. But you know when even now I dislike it the most? It’s when it takes away the time that was mine. There are times stretched at its will where it won’t let us have our father to ourselves, which is when I particularly dislike it. And just like all younger siblings cancer is hyper too, it tries to over smart us but thankfully we have a sound team to pacify it.

This is how we as a family are dealing with cancer…….I have thought over a few months if I should share it with you all or not. But I decided that I should because no one ever told me how to live with cancer. Everywhere people just talk about fighting it, they talk about looking it in the face and telling it that it who is more powerful. We are all focused on fighting cancer that we forget how exhausting fighting is, it drains out everything that you ever were from you, and it changes you in ways you don’t ever want to. Fighting has outcomes, you either win or you lose but knowing cancer, most of the people have feelings of loss soon and this kills hope. We never wanted hope taken away from us, am sure no one does. So we didn’t fight it we are living with it, with the belief that each day is precious and the future is never in our control. It’s not that we aren’t scared, we are and Allah knows but we can never predict what the next moment brings for us so what makes cancer different then? Isn’t it as unpredictable as life itself? I just pray that we learn to live with it and calm the human urge to look into the future…..just be able to breathe freely today….be able to LIVE today.

I hope and sincerely pray that everyone who is living with cancer gets to live a little more, laugh a little more, smile a little more, and eventually create memories that are going to last another life time. For once I want us all to forget about winning or losing and focus on all that we have right here in this moment, before the very next moment scares the world out of us, we need to live a little more.

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