Family, friend & supporter
United States

"I can honestly say cancer has to be the closest form of hell"

December 7th, 2018 was the day my life changed forever. After 6 months of late nights in the emergency room, doctor visits, and a type of worry that is unimaginable unless experienced- the doctors decided he needed a biopsy.

A few hours after surgery began, my family was informed that my supposedly healthy, 44 year old father, had stage three Lymphoma. He was seemingly healthy his entire life until this moment. Medical professionals attempted to comfort us with the idea that this was the easiest cancer to cure, but something told me deep down that our lives would never be the same.

My dad remained in the hospital while more tests were run, and more options were looked into. Some days my family and I were given soft news that things were looking up. Other days, we were broken with the idea that he was only getting worse. Eventually, days turned into weeks, hearts broke a little more each day, options went from slim to none, and signs of hope seemed to diminish further and further into the distance.

Sunday, December 30th, I woke up to the sound of pouring rain and the coolness of a chill that radiated from my window. I got up to get ready to head to the hospital, not knowing that this was the last day I would wake up with my dad here on Earth.

My family and I waited anxiously in the ICU waiting room, for my dad who was having a port put in, in order to drain fluid and hopefully help his organs become able to function and fight for him. After over an hour of waiting, my younger brother and grandfather followed behind me as we headed downstairs to check on things- not knowing we would walk into a hallway of tears.

To keep the story short, I heard the life-altering news on the bottom floor of the hospital. The hallway was filled with family, friends, doctors, and nurses- people who loved my dad. But I have never felt more alone than the following moments. Walls were hit, glasses and caps were thrown into the floor, and screams were loud and frequent enough to shatter glass. An emptiness began to consume me. Our lives changed forever that day.

We lost someone that we all believed was impossible to live without. My siblings and I lost our father. My aunt lost her brother. My grandparents lost their son. My stepmom lost her husband. My cousins lost their uncle. So many lost a family member, and a so many lost a friend.  It has been 5 weeks and a day since the world LOST a fighter, and Heaven GAINED an angel.

I say all of this to say- though my dad's journey did not turn out the way I or the rest of my loved ones hoped, I encourage everyone loving someone who has this awful disease, to keep fighting. Fight no matter how much it hurts, or how impossible it seems. I will fight for others who have cancer, in honor of my dad. I will fight for those who are fighting for their family. I will fight because I know what it's like for cancer to take someone you love right out from under you. I will fight. I am and I will.

"...but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles. they will run and not grow weary. they will walk and not grow faint." Isaiah 40:31

Healthcare professional & carer
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United States
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Family, friend & supporter
Paul Kelsin and his mother
Paul Kelsin
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