My aunt has cancer.


My aunt has cancer.

My hilarious, wonderful, sympathetic, black sheep, wonderful, adventurous aunt whom I look up to and take after and is pretty much the only remaining contact I have to my dad's family since his death.

[I just realized that I put 'wonderful' down twice but I don't even care because that is how I think of her.]

My father's sister. The one who's been fighting breast cancer for years [she has a lump in a breast but all the doctors say that it's benign so far, although they keep close tabs on it to make sure that it doesn't turn malignant]. The one who lost her brother to breast cancer. [Despite all the marketing towards women and the lack of awareness that men can get breast cancer too, HEY MEN CAN GET BREAST CANCER TOO.]

She's been feeling bad for a while, the last time I saw her was during the Superbowl and we were supposed to meet up a few weeks after that but she kept canceling because she felt too tired.

She had an appointment with her doctor but for reasons [he was overscheduling], it kept getting pushed back.

Well, she finally went and she finally got the results.

Cancer.

The scariest word you can say to my family. The thing she's been fighting for years. The thing she's been losing weight, exercising, and eating healthy to avoid getting. The thing her brother [my father] died from.

And the kicker?

It's not even breast cancer.

No, she has cervical cancer. Well, that just came out of left field. She had all the symptoms of breast cancer [like the rest of my father's family, she carries the BRCA2 gene], we'd all been cautioned against it for years, and... it's something else? Something that none of us would have guessed would happen to her? I mean, okay, I worked at a women's health clinic. I know that cervical cancer exists. But I also know that it mostly happens to women in their 20s and early 30s. Not women in their 60s. Not women who have been doing everything they can to reduce their overall chances of developing cancer.

I am so angry right now. Not at my aunt, not at the doctors, not at our genetics [well, maybe a little]. Just at this intangible disease that continues to plague my family. We were doing everything right. We've all started exercising, eating healthy, watching our bodies. We register every single change that our bodies make. So why, despite everything, are we facing this again? Why are we caught unawares? Why do we have to go through this again?

Tell me, what's the point to all of this if everyone I love just keeps getting this awful disease?