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  • Hit rewind and go back to August 2011. It's a lovely afternoon, the air thick in that midsummer way, bugs sluggishly hovering the way they do. It's also the day I got home from a two-week sleep-away camp, without much communication home. It's also the day I was informed my dad has cancer. My family led me to the back porch when I got home. Offered me a seat. Handed me a glass of water. Gently as possible in such an instance, told me that a short few days earlier, my dad went to the emergency room, had a brain tumor removed from his head, and was diagnosed with stage III cancer.

    I didn't know what to think. I really think at all, or maybe I thought too much to remember now. Cancer is just something you read about in books, something a distant relative that you've never met has, a friend's mother has. Nothing that strikes too close to home, that doesn't happen, right? I knew it was a hideous thing, but didn't know about how firmly it could grip a family and spin it around. And I learned that it was fully capable of doing just so.

    My dad is energetic, constantly doing something to make other people happy. Unaccustomed to being so tired and weak as the treatments had made him, he struggled. And my family and I struggled with him every step of the way. And we had run into two options: to stop in our tracks and let this create a cloud over our lives, or, we could use this time to think positively. We chose the latter. In this long, weary, and frightening journey we had to learn to put our own insignificant problems away and deal with the bigger ones that lie directly infront of us. We became more connected and understanding of each other. We became significantly more appreciative of each other and of our lives. I have carried these lessons learned in this time of difficulty to my life now, and it has made me happier, more grateful person.
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