Bonus Chapter: So What?

As mentioned earlier, I had a lot of leftover material after the editing, which didn’t make the cut. Below is another chapter that I wanted to share. Enjoy!


So What?


One of life’s greatest lessons is that somebody will always have it better than you. They’ll be healthier, happier, richer or however else you want to measure it. I’ve met people in the cancer ward who were going through “only” stage I cancer, who needed hardly any chemotherapy, experienced no side effects and required only monthly hospital visits. How much better off than me were they! On the other hand, I shared rooms with patients who spent endless days and nights in hospitals, their bodies just a vague memory of what they used to be, and with those for whom that room would be the terminal stop on their journey. In yet another part of the hospital there were children going through terrible experiences. I wasn’t sure if they could fully understand what was happening to them. They have to undergo such pain at such an early age that it will set them aside from their peers, indelibly changing their perception of life. How is that fair?


We all tell ourselves stories, it’s how we live. People are not rational but rather rationalising beings. The story we each tell ourselves will change our lives, in a very literal way. I had to handle the situation at hand. I had to deal with my cancer, make sure my family was all right and somehow keep my grades up. Bluntly speaking, I had to suck it up. Life has a way of putting us in situations that at first look extremely difficult. Cancer in November 2003 looked much like Mount Everest: cold, lonely, insurmountable and potentially fatal. However, once I started moving forward, one day at a time, it suddenly became a lot more manageable.


Although it was once hard to see it that way, cancer is now simply another chapter in my life’s journey, just as much as the house where I grew up. The fear was overwhelming at first, but I became better at dancing with it. I won’t lie, if you are going through something equally or more difficult it will hurt. You may experience hardships the likes of which you’ve never encountered before, but regardless your situation, know that life ultimately happens for us and not to us.