The C word.
my grandmother is a cancer survivor. breast cancer. it’s in the family, but my mother and her siblings don’t have it. yet. Nanna (what i call my grandma) was diagnosed in 2005. which means it’s been 6 years since her first lump. there have been many since, but she just beat them all. after several months and years of chemotherapy, she decided to stop all chemo and enjoy the last bits of her life with quality. she didn’t need quantity, she wanted the best of for herself. we were all worried. we weren’t ready to lose our matriarch of the family. but thank God, she, being the fighter she is, is up and cooking in the kitchen and dancing with her husband every oppurtunity she gets.
in 2009, Nanna’s younger sister, Aunty Claire, was going through chemotherapy for her 2nd stage breast cancer which got worse and worse everyday. by December when we visited her, she was with her scarf, her vomit bucket and her bloated belly due to her organs giving out one by one, no thanks to cancer. she was singing to an old christmas song and she said “ i will wait for christmas. i can’t wait for christmas! ”.
for christmas that year, Aunty Clare stayed with her family, and we had our own thing. we were singing on the karaoke machine, thanking God that our christmas was blessed with the presence of our loved ones. the clock stroke midnight and we wished everyone before going back to the karaoke machine. it was mum’s turn singing “Bette Davis’ eyes” when we got the call. it was almost 1am, all the grown-ups went to the hospital. We stayed home and tried to be strong and keep faith. i put the younger ones to sleep before dozing off myself.
i woke up at 8 am only to hear that Aunty Clare had left us all at 4 a.m on the 25th of December. She kept her word, she stayed til’ christmas.
i was taken back when i read kak AmiSchaheera’s tweet about a relapse. i wanted to tweet her back with something comforting, but 140 characters won’t even comfort my cat. but kak Ami’s a cat :) she has 9 lives, and she’s ready to kick some cancer in the rear-end, wherever that is.
it’s not that we understand what you’re going through, but we want to be there for you, and help you fight this, to relief you of this pain even if it’s just a tiny bit. i don’t want to lose anymore loved ones to cancer. Never.
Rest in peace, Nanna Clare <3 i know you’re watching us from up above!