I didn’t know much about pancreatic cancer until I heard about Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture. Like millions of others, I saw his lecture on YouTube and felt for him and his family. What bravery in the face of tragedy! Shortly after that, I got a call from my parents telling me my sister, Jan, had been diagnosed with the same cancer. I went cold inside, knowing that it was not something that would have a happy ending.
This was another major life event in the timeline of the past few years. I was struggling with what had felt like a lot – losing an uncle and then a dear aunt, two cousins battling breast cancer – but this was a new level for me. This was my sister, my friend, and my confidante. I was numb for a long time after that call, but at the same time, needed to get busy to find a way to help.
Through the past few years, I wrote. I wrote for myself, to myself, mostly to stay sane. It helped me to get it out on paper and rereading things was a way to process a lot of powerful feelings. I am convinced that writing saved me and I’ve kept these essays. Posting them here is a way of giving them a new life – maybe they will be read by someone and be of use. Mostly, I want to give back in some form. Being able to stand up and say that I made it through some incredibily rough times and am here to write about it means a lot to me. That’s all. It means a lot to me.