December 14, 2005. I woke up with a hundred knots in my stomach, knowing this day had the possibility to be the worst day of my life. Instead of driving to school listening to “Animals,” by Nickelback, I was on the way to the hospital with my parents in our dead-silent suburban. We entered the hospital and went to the third floor to the waiting room– the place we would stay for the next eight hours, and where our spirits would rise in hope or fall in grief.
I was sitting on my bed doing my geometry homework when my dad walked in and relayed, “I had a routine colonoscopy and they found something abnormal. They’re going to test it for cancer.” At the time, my reaction was minimal. I didn’t really know what to think. I’m probably one of the most laid back people I know so I thought, “Okay…everything will be fine, he doesn’t have cancer.”
A few days later I found out we had to go into the doctor’s office, because my dad had colon cancer. It was my choice whether or not to go in with my parents. My mom didn’t think I should have to go through that. I knew I had to be there for my dad. The doctor set up surgery for December 14 to remove a part of my dad’s colon. They said that would hopefully get rid of all the cancer and he wouldn’t have to go through chemotherapy.
The closer that day came the closer I became to my dad. We didn’t really know what to expect, but hoped for the best. At the time, I couldn’t see anything positive in the situation but knew I had to be optimistic. My dad and I are a lot alike yet we weren’t very close, but I was still considered daddy’s little girl. He taught me so much, from throwing a curveball to putting your pride aside and helping someone in need. I recall one time I was in the truck with him at a gas station. We were in a hurry to get to my brother’s baseball games in time. There was a man with a stalled car trying to act like he knew what he was doing under the hood. My dad, without even thinking, pulled the truck up to the guy’s and started talking to him. I just wanted to go watch the game, but I knew that was not an option in the mind of my dad. He hooked it up to the jumper cables he always carries around in the back of his farm truck and sent the needy man on his way.
The day was finally here to go into Mercy Capital hospital for my dad’s surgery. We checked in, gave our hugs and kisses, shed a few tears, and went to our new home for the rest of the day in the waiting room. Within that eight hours both of my brothers, their families, my aunts, uncles and cousins, and my pastor had all stopped by to send their prayers and company.
Around five o’clock the surgeon came to us to say the surgery was successful and they believed all the cancer was gone. My dad was still on a feeding tube and under many medications. My mom went in first to see him. I wasn’t sure I even wanted to so I went in with my brothers. We walked in the room to see the tears pouring from both my mom and dad’s eyes. I have never in the fifteen years of my life seen my dad cry, and I now know that everyone gets scared at some time in their life. I couldn’t hold back anymore. I started crying but didn’t know what to say to my dad besides, “Everything’s going to be okay.” He was in so much pain. I couldn’t, in my whole lifetime, ever imagine something positive coming from this. I was wrong.
The whole experience made me realize that everything really does happen for a reason. Because all my dad went through, he has now lost over 100 pounds and is in awesome shape. Our family is closer and stronger. “I trust that everything happens for a reason, even when you’re not wise enough to see it,” Oprah Winfrey.
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