I felt an odd sense of emptiness when my parents broke the news. It was December 2001 and my father had been diagnosed with colon cancer. We lived in
Only when I look back, do I realise the sheer naiveté of my judgement, as many “what if” questions start bouncing inside my head. What if the cancer had been widespread? What if the surgery had only a 50% chance of success? Alas, what if there wasn’t anything that could be done? What if even those angelic surgeons had no solutions but to pray? Though my perception was cloudy, I am surprised at my own demeanour. I did not panic, I did not cry, I did not fear. I simply prayed and knew that the best would happen. My lack of emotion at the time was something Shakespeare’s Hamlet would be proud of, yet now I see why I did not shout or scream with futile agony. Somehow, I had faith that the Universe would right itself. And it did. The surgery, which took place on my birthday (the best present I ever received!), went off without a hitch and since then, my father made a full recovery with the help of Chinese medicine and western wisdom. However, it wasn’t the end of his health trials.
While he cut back on his high-travel, stress-filled job, he still had many challenges to face. We moved from
I’m not a firm believer in destiny, only in the balance of things. In the summer of 2004, this balance was corrected and we moved back to
My own life has also been dramatically altered since we moved back to
I think he has grown as a person and a father, after his cancer experience. Moreover, I think my own perception and emotional response have also grown. Cancer was a catalyst of positive change for the whole family. I have learnt that if something looks impossible, it calls for another perspective, which may open up totally new possibilities. I have opened myself to change and I have learnt to go with the flow. To me, openness also means questioning my assumptions while making the necessary choices. Inevitably, this will bring about positive change.
My father’s cancer changed my outlook on life as a whole. I hope to grow from my transitions, the way he has.