This I Believe

Darren - Ann Arbor, Michigan
Entered on January 15, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

Bonding with Cancer

I believe that disease can bring a family together. When my bother and dad got cancer, our family pulled together to get through it. I know that when they got sick, one of the first things I looked for was comfort from my family. We all tried to put our efforts toward them to make them feel better. Together, we all tried and make each other feel better during this time of hardship, especially my dad and brother.

Each person experiences their own type of pain when someone they love is ill. Whether it’s hearing them suffer from an asthma attack, spinal tap or just knowing that they were not feeling their best can caused me to feel sorry for them. What hurt me the most during the time that my brother was sick was he was coughing continuously and all of the medication that they gave him for his ‘strep throat’ didn’t work. Then one night, my brother just couldn’t stop coughing so my mom took him into the emergency room and that started our new challenge as a family.

My family members provided the type of love that my friends could not at the time and that was the love that knows exactly what you are going through and is willing to stick with you no matter if your loved one’s condition takes a turn for the worst. In March, 6 months after my brother diagnosis, my brother suddenly had to be admitted into the hospital again on his birthday and I believe that when that happened it brought a whole different realization to me then when he was first diagnosed that at any moment it could take a leap backward.

Disease in the family also made me think of what is really important in life and not what I wanted to be important. I suddenly realized that I might not have this person in my life for much longer and so I wanted to spend as much time as I could with this person. Luckily, no one in my immediate family died because of cancer but at the time, I didn’t know how long they were going to live. I tried to make a lot of positive memories not knowing if they would be gone the next day.

My brother and Dad have experienced cancer and even though it may have brought financial problems along with others, the connections that you build with each other as a family is one thing that I believe can never be taken away. I’m also not saying getting cancer is the ultimate family bonding activity but I still feel that even cancer has it’s good trade-offs provided that the ill person gets through it. Sadly, everyone’s story cannot end the way my brother’s and dad’s did and I feel very sorry for whomever is going through this right now.