Life is a counted-down journey, when you were born, it won’t stop for you. — Anonymous
Have you ever thought that one day your beloved person will be gone all of a sudden? Have you ever thought that you are unable to control your life all at once? These thoughts only pass through my mind just for a moment before and I never think over it until recently.
The current outbreak of the Covid-19 every day on the news shows us not only the panic but the weakness of the human beings in front of the disease or nature. I am quite lucky that the country I live in could control the virus well, while a good thing also comes with a bad one. Currently, I just know one of my family members is diagnosed with cancer which is already at the last stage. It was me who accompanied him to understand the result of the MRI and discussed all the ways of cure with the doctor. This is the first time I’m aware of how close death is. In the beginning, I would never believe the bad news as he is such an important existence in my life. He is a big tree, a protective harbor for me when I fell down during my life, he always gives me honest and realistic suggestions. What’s more, we just talked about my future life of a master's degree in Europe this Autumn last few weeks. However, since that day, everything is changed.
That day which was the day to understand his condition was coming, I was the only child who accompanied him to learn the result. It took so long for the doctor to read it and looked into the picture of the MRI. It was just like you were standing in the court and waiting for the announcement of the sentence while you still possessed a little hope that there would be some chance to live in this world. “Well, it’s really a difficult case.” That’s how the doctor started the conversation. Usually, there are 4 stages of cancer. The chance of the recovery of the first to the third stage of cancer is pretty high. The fourth stage is divided into 2 conditions. One is that you would have a chance to have surgery while another one is that you could only have the chemistry and target therapy to continue your life, which means to assist you to have some dignity before the end of the life. We somehow got the jackpot. “Now, I can only see how to last longer your life but not the rate of the recovery.” We finally got the judgment from the doctor. I could deeply feel that they already couldn’t listen to the doctor’s explanation of the cure, so I took the ownership of asking questions until the doctor even thought that I might be a nurse.
Since that day, I start trying to figure out how to be prepared to say goodbye to him, to my beloved father. The following are my ways for now, but I’m still learning.
Memories collected. You would never know when the clock will stop ticking. Even though the cure rate of cancer is really high now because of the advancement of healthcare, you would still not want to take any risk to waste any chance to be with the patients. I try to keep every his small reactions or feelings in my mind as I could, sometimes I’ll take some photos or video of him, while another time, I’ll just write it down in my diary or bear it in my mind.
Accompany. Career is usually my first priority and it’s easy for us to forget the importance of health and family. It’s what happened to me before his illness. Currently, I’m only aware of how little time I spent with him, even how similar our personalities are. However, I start scheduling to go home every week to accompany him as much as possible in order to create more memories between us. Now, my family is the first priority.
Express. In our Chinese culture, we seldom express our feelings with people we love openly. Since he starts the treatment, I also try to learn to express my caring and love to him. In the beginning, it’s quite awkward because sometimes both of us will be speechless and it’s actually quite interesting as that’s our similarity. No matter what, at least he will truly understand how much I love him.
Life is light as a feather. It’s still difficult to be prepared with confidence. To be honest, the above preparation might assist us and patients to feel better, but we still have to deeply understand that nothing we could be well-prepared for someone’s death. Instead, it’s a process we must experience in our life, what we should comprehend is the meaning and the further relationship with the family because it will become the permanent memory for the rest of our journey.
(Reference: Stages of Cancer)