Unfortunately the end of my first year came with some unfortunate news for me and my family — news that reminded me of the fact that life does go on while I’m in school, too busy to notice.
A little background: my family is known for withholding important information regarding the health (and even life/death) status of family members when I have important exams coming up. For instance, a few years ago I learned of my grandfather’s death when an Aunt emailed out his obituary to the family, an email I was not supposed to receive until I was finished taking 3 finals in a 24 hour period.
While I usually hold this against them, this time, I did not. A week or two before finals I had received messages from family members regarding an Aunt who was hospitalized with suspected heart problems. After a few messages, the emails stopped (of course I didn’t think at the time why that might be, but should have known better). In the hospital, a mass was found on my Aunt’s pancreas — implying pancreatic cancer. Anyone who knows anything about pancreatic cancer knows that it means certain death in only a matter of time, a terrifying thought, really.
After finals were over, my mother forwarded me some emails that conveyed the news. The mass is small but likely malignant. The doctors are hopeful that they caught it early and that by removing some organs (pancreas, gallbladder, and some liver) they will be able to put an end to the cancer. While I maintain an extremely hopeful status I recognize that my attitude is largely an illusion. I don’t want to come to grips with how close to death my aunt is or could be. And I don’t think I should have to at this point. I want her and my family to fight the best battle we can against this and I want to remain hopeful that it can be conquered!
Please send good thoughts our way — we’ll need all the positive energy we can get!