I’ve been catching up with Desperate Housewives of late, working my way from season 1 right through to, the currently airing, season 6. I have just started season 4 and Lynette’s struggle with cancer has had me bawling like a baby, so here I am blogging about it!
It has been about 7 years since I lost my Dad to cancer, non-hodgkins lymphoma, and yet it is only now, being older, that I can appreciate his struggle. When he first told me that he had cancer I was only a child and I remember running from him and blaming him for it. I soon came round of course and life continued as normal with me seeing him at weekends (my parents divorced when I was a baby) and us going to visit places, it was like there was nothing wrong. As I got older he got weaker and weaker, we spent more time just at his house chatting instead of going out, I visited him in hospital once, you get the picture. Despite having watched him battle, and boy did he battle, it has only recently occurred to me just how strong he was.
Every time I saw him he had a smile on his face, he was chatty, he wanted to play and do things, not once did I see him moping or crying or even thinking about giving in. Looking back I can see that as the years went on he grew more desperate for a cure, he switched to goats milk/cheese, cut out all sorts from his diet, tried herbal remedies, the works, but as a child I never noticed. Being older, and more intuitive, now I remember one time in the midst of an organic, goats milk phase, sitting in his kitchen while he opened the door to the fridge and I can see the look on his face, it was a look that was both despairing and desperate. He wasn’t just looking at the food in there, he was begging it to make a difference and yet he never turned to me and cried. I can’t begin to comprehend the strength it must have taken for him to see me sat there, knowing that he wouldn’t see me grow up, and still put a smile on his face. I could never imagine having that kind of courage. I admire him so much for managing to hide, what I now know to be, a huge burden from me in an effort to give me a childhood.
When I think about him now it is always fondly, and rarely with tears, but watching Lynette’s struggle has made me wish that I’d been older. I wish that I had known what I know now and that I could have understood and empathised. I wish that I could have been there for him in the way that he was there for me, and it saddens me greatly that I’ll never have that chance. I would give anything to be able to see him one last time and tell him how proud I am of him, and how much I respect and admire him for his strength and courage but this is the best I can do.
Of course I know that he understood, I was a child, he didn’t expect anything from me, even when I promised him that I would find the cure! I know he knew I did the best a 7-14 year old can do and I know that he never felt I’d let him down, but sometimes I still wish I could have done something more so that he knew he wasn’t alone.
Anyway, less of the emotional stuff! I did the race for life last year in his honour, and, if I’m in the country, intend to do it again this year. It was a fantastic experience and I would encourage anyone to do it, you can’t imagine the feeling it gives you. I am constantly amazed by how many people have been touched by cancer and what they will do to in the battle to beat it. It is something that everyone is united to beat and I know that eventually we will. Some of the girls on twitter have organised the #twitsfortits trek to raise money for breast cancer, you can donate here. The fabulous, and now famous, BubblyBex has created the #kickcancer campaign that is providing hope to everyone on twitter fighting cancer. Her unstoppable positivity and great humour in the fight against “little c” can be supported here. Everyone is on board to fight this disease that ruins lives and I think we need to take the lead from those battling with it: don’t stop fighting, that way, we’ll win.