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  • Writer's pictureNicole Ogg

The "C" word.

“So live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you.” -Stuart Scott (posted on @sportscenter Instagram page)


Cancer. In this day and age, you’re considered lucky if you haven’t been personally affected by this disease. I, myself, have watched my best and closest friends lose parents and grandparents to cancer. And I’ve lost very close family friends who were basically considered family. And it sucked. It sucked to watch my friends go through the pain of losing their mother, father, grandmother, grandfather. And it sucked to lose people who I held so near and dear to my heart. To know that my friends lost those people at such a young age and during some of the most transformative years in our lives was heartbreaking. And it sucked for me because each of those lives lost were special to me. They were my family too.


Obviously, I have just told you that cancer has affected me due to my friends’ losing family from it, but it wasn’t until my family was struck with this terrible disease that I really understood the magnitude of the word. In 2019, I received a call from my dad telling me that my grandma had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. You hear stage 4 and immediately think the worst, right? Because that’s what I did. But nonetheless, she beat it with chemo and radiation. Fast forward to October 2021, she received her all clear 6 month checkup, and will return this October for her 1 year checkup.


And while it was heartbreaking to hear that my grandma had cancer, it was even worse when I received the call from my dad. August 23rd, 2021 I heard my dad say the dreaded 3 words, “I have cancer.” And when I tell you that I blacked out, I did just that. I don’t remember the rest of my conversation with him, I just remember trying to hurry him off the phone so that I could cry. I remember immediately texting my boyfriend, at the time, to tell him as he was waiting for the results as well. He called me right after he received my message and there was instant calmness. He was going through the same situation with his mom, she was battling cancer as well. And having someone who could relate to the pain, worry, sadness, anxiety, anger, and all of the other emotions I was feeling, was truly calming. I’m so thankful to have had him, the rest of my family and my friends during that time. Thankfully, my dad's journey with cancer was very short. By the end of September, he had his surgery to remove the cancer and was recovering well. Fast Forward to today, he is cancer free.


This topic was heavy on my mind this week because on Monday, one of my best friends' father underwent surgery to remove a tumor from his kidney and another one of my best friends' grandma starts her 5 week, 5 days a week treatment for pelvic cancer next Monday.


I thank god everyday that both my grandma and my dad were able to beat the “C” word, but while I thank him, I also question why so many amazing people have been affected by or taken from this world because of this terrible disease. It’s unfair.


The "C" word. It’s scary, really fucking scary. No matter the location or the stage. I wish this disease would go away. The uncertainties, the long battles, the short battles, the gains, the losses, they break us down but they also show us our strength. For everyone who has been affected, I empathize with you. For everyone who has dealt with loss, I pray for your peace. And for the people who are fighting this battle, fight like hell.

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