1st of December 2010, I lost my grand pop in a battle to throat cancer. Just like my dad now my grand pop was a heavy smoker, which was the root of his cancer. There were many rifts in my family, and I did not have the best relationship with my grand pop, but a few years before we lost him, we re-connected and I got used to having him around. But soon after, he was diagnosed with throat cancer; it changed the family dynamic. Grand pop came and lived with me during the cancerous period of his life. I went from barely knowing the man to spending every last moment with him until he was taken from me. He had stage four-throat cancer, yet he would make the effort to walk outside his room, go out to the porch and sit there until he saw my school bus arrive. He would welcome me into his warm arms, stroke my hair, and desperately tried his best to say a few words, but the chemotherapy made it harder. When grand pop was undergoing treatments, I noticed that he was getting weaker, thinner, and he stopped waiting for me at the porch after school. I vividly remember waking up for school one morning and seeing that grand pop was not in his room, because my parents in middle of the night took him to the hospital. I went to school with a pit in my stomach, and when I got back from school my parents greeted me with the dreadful news. In a way cancer brought us together. It’s the hard truth, however it made me stronger watching him battle the disease like the trooper that he was.
This week’s Podcast really got me thinking about my grand pop and how much I miss him. In the Podcast, one of the listeners said how her mother went through her battle with breast cancer with a positive attitude and that reminded me of my grand pop smiling through pain even when it was obvious that he did that so I wouldn’t worry. In some point of our lives cancer has touched us all. Today we are able to share our stories with others going through the same experience on social media or other means of communication.