Every immediate member of my family has now been diagnosed with cancer, except me. Let me clarify, none of my nieces or nephews have been diagnosed either. It feels like Russian roulette and I won the cancer odds.

So far.

I intend to keep it this way.

My parents fought cancer and suffered for years before succombing to it in 2003. Through it, I learned to be a good caregiver. Maybe even a great one. I am very compassionate and empathetic because of this experience.

One of my sister’s died of brain cancer in 2010.

My other sister was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 and I’m happy to report she is 5 years cancer free.

I just got the call from my brother a couple days ago. I knew my brother had a shadow on his lung, but was hoping for a different diagnosis.

I hate cancer. I hate watching people I love fight cancer.

My heart hurts. My throat feels like its closing in on itself and I fight back tears. I feel alone. I’m never ready to grieve. Who is? I’m grieving for the upcoming pain of surgery and the difficult recovery. I’m grieving again for the loss of my mom, dad and sister. Grief does get easier over the years, but sometimes a commercial reminds me of family member that I miss terribly. Somebody I know loses their dad/mom/sibling, and it all comes rushing back.

Tears burn my eyes. I don’t like this pain and aching. I don’t see any way out – just through.

Sometimes grief comes unexpectedly. Fortunately, I don’t stay in that dark place. I’m strong. Both mentally and physically. I focus on being positive. But, I’m human and fragile. Sharp, deep pains of loss are impossible to describe. I usually focus on the good memories of loved ones who have already passed. But, when their struggles invades my memory and I miss them terribly, I read poems similar to what I posted with this blog. My friend Kathy had great timing, doesn’t know of my situation (I guess she does now) and posted this poem on her Facebook page.

Because it’s Easter, and I grew up in a religious family – I focus on hope. Hope for a better tomorrow and heaven.

If you know me well, you know I’m very sensitive, and tremendous loss plays a large part in this sensitivity. You also know I’m cheerful and find the silver lining wherever I can. Some people think I’m constantly cheerful, others have seen another side.

Maybe at times I may come across in ‘work-mode’ or have invisible walls up – I guard my heart closely. I immerse my brain in other thoughts.

Maybe you’ve seen me stand up to a bully. Yes, adults can be bullies. I don’t like to see other people get pushed around or emotionally hurt. I feel compelled to be strong for them.

Maybe you know me and think I’m too driven – but I have nothing to lose, and tend to throw myself into/and sometimes get lost in projects. Work projects. Volunteer projects. I hardly ever get lost in yard or house projects.

I’m sure I have haters – if Anne Hathaway has haters, we all must. They probably have a different opinion of me. I’m not sure what it is or why. I’m just guessing. If I offended you, I’m sorry. I’m sure I didn’t realize it.

I’ve wondered if happy endings are more elusive for me. I know this is not the case, I’m just in the moment.

Dear readers, I simply ask for two things:
1. Prayers for my brother. I love him. He is awesome and the kindest man you may ever get the chance to meet. He also has a young son.
2. Love on those around you and help whenever you can. Life is short. Somebody else may be hiding their challenge.

Thank you.

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