Taken From Me

It follows you for more than half of your life, creeping in the shadows, it’s only partner, death.

It has no feelings,
it does not discriminate,
it does what it wants without remorse, and what it wants is to devour us.

It has taken from me some very special people, whom I have loved very much.
It has taken from me my Great Grandfather when I was just a baby.
It has taken from me my Grandfather when I was very young.
It has taken from me my Grandmother when I was a young man.

Fifteen years ago it came back into my life and took my Mother, and that fucking hurt a lot.
Now as the tears roll down my face, the bastard is back again, causing unbelievable pain in mine and my family’s lives.

It touches us with reckless abandon, and cares not about the pain it leaves in its wake.
It’s name is cancer and has now come for my older brother, and to be honest, I am really sick of seeing this fucker come and go whenever it feels like.

My brother lives a few hours from me, and tomorrow my family and I will make the trip to yet another hospital to see him after his surgery.
My brother and I have not seen each other in some time, not by design mind you, but because that’s just how we are.

It is really hard to see my youngest daughter (who has only seen her uncle a few times in her life) breaking down, and me having to lie to her, and tell her that it will be all right, because it will be fucking far from all right.

My brother went from having to have a biopsy, to having to go straight into an oncology unit, and needing surgery to have a tube put in him to continuously drain the fluid from his lungs.

Cancer has not been kind to my family,
it has called too many times on my family,
and not one of my relatives that became ill with it has survived it.
My mother whom I can see crying when I close my eyes, was diagnosed and died within six months.
I was with her when she took her last breath in this world.

The greatest accomplishments in my life are my two daughters,
ironically, my greatest disappointment is that neither one of my girls ever got to meet their Grandmother,
all because cancer decided to come for her when she was just 55 years old.

In a lot of my posts, I say I come up swinging when I get knocked down,
and I do every single time.
I am really tired of being knocked down, especially by cancer,
so I am going to just be here swinging.

I have decided that my girls and my wife will not experience cancers brutal and callous ways on me.
I was a lifelong smoker since the age of 12 I am now 43, that is 31 years that I have smoked.
It is enough,
I am done.


10 responses to “Taken From Me

  1. hi, so sorry for the loss of you mom your other family members & now it struck your brother, I hate cancer also,like you, it also got people in my family also, 20 months today,my mother, july 5th was diagnoised with small cell lung cancer stage 4,and within 4 wks aug 4th,my mom passed away, we didnt have anytime, it was in the blink of an eye, it ripped my heart out,but, I charish the memories I had with her, some people dont get what i had at all, so ill be satisfied with memories.As for smoking i quit after 40 yrs of it since i was 12 also, Iam now stage 4 copd with end stages emphysema,iam going to be listed for a lung transplant soon, I have only 23% left of my lung capasity,. smoking!!! yeaaa its suck the life right outa you. so if you quit, good for you. best way to quit is to never start. well, ill be praying for your brother & your family. hope you stay clear from them KILLERETTES!!! We only live once :)) your doing the right thing.

  2. Hey Joannei,
    First off thanks for your kind words, I am sorry about your mother, My mom had the same thing small cell stage four lung cancer. We had a little time not much only 6 months and it wasnt enough and it wasnt fair.
    I am really sorry to hear about the conditions that afflict you and really hope you find a way through this, Know this you will be in my thoughts and prayers.
    As far as quitting I have, I have been using some tools I found to cut down and eventually be nicotine free I was down about 60% from my norm, yesterday was my walk away moment when the desire for smoking just ended.
    Thanks for stopping by and please keep in touch 🙂

  3. Jim, I am so sorry. My Dad is currently battling the dreaded c-word and we are taking the whole thing one day at a time. It’s the only way we can seem to cope. Glad to hear you are quitting the habit. It’s a hard one ot break.

    • Hey train, Thank you.
      I am sorry you and your Dad are going through this too. It is a battle and its not a fair fight by any means I hope things turn out good for your Dad you will be in my thoughts and prayers 🙂
      I completely lost the urge to smoke last night, seeing the way my daughter was dealing with all this, I will not put her or the rest of my family thru this
      Thanks for stopping by

  4. I’m sorry for your losses and your brothers’ current struggles. I lost a dear friend to cancer some years back, and then 3 other friends were diagnosed with cancer in about a year’s time (and had surgery), and another one of my friends has undergone his second bone marrow transplant and chemo…due to leukemia. My dad had stomach cancer and they removed most of his stomach…and has chronic lymphocytic leukemia though that’s a slow growing cancer (and I think he’s currently in remission).

    Why do you have to shield your daughter from the possibility that her uncle may die? When my daughter was 8 years old, I had to prepare her for the fact that her first grade teacher was dying of ovarian cancer (I found out through a friend she only had a few weeks to live). We watched an episode of Aurthur (The Great McGrady) that dealt with cancer first. I used my experience with losing my friend to help me help her know what would happen (the basics, not the details).

    If you really want to know how to talk to her (depending on her age of course), you can find the Aurthur episode (1 and 2) on Hulu.

    You can read the supplmentary handout at Livestrong.com here


    I answered my daughters’ questions, let her cry in my arms and cried with her (well, and for her and for me, too, because I missed my friend terribly) and when she asked if her teacher would be okay, I said this:

    “The doctors are doing everything they can to help her. They are giving her medicine, and sometimes the medicine works and they get better, and sometimes the medicine doesn’t work and they die. All we can do is pray that God will take care of her”.

    My daughter wanted to know if it was contagious like a cold, and I said no. She asked if there was anything she could do, and I said making her a card would be nice.

    Losing someone to death is hard. But the reality is EVERYTHING IS TEMPORARY. Americans are one of the few countries that find death so hard to cope with. But that’s often because we tend to focus on the wrong things, forget to deeply connect with those we love while they are here, and ignore the inevitable part of life and we don’t realize every moment we have is precious. We may lose anyone, at any time, to anything. And…well, the longer one lives, the more deaths of loved ones and friends you will encounter. It might be something to consider dealing with your own mortality now…so that these other losses won’t keep hitting you so hard.

    From what I understand, there are many who have died temporarily and came back to report that the transition from life unto death is not as scary as one might think. Death is much, much harder on the living, than it is on the dying. It triggers death anxiety that we so often try to put out of our minds…until we are reminded, not so gently I might add, of the fragility of life.

    I’m going to add something in another comment below…this one’s gone on a while.

  5. The Buddhist have one thing right…that we suffer a lot because of our hold is so tight to things that are impermanent in this world. The reality, EVERYTHING IS IMPERMANENT, therefore, if we hold onto life, and our loved ones with a clenched fist, expecting all that we have to be around forever, we’ll end up compounding our suffering.


    Love deeply, Love now, and Let Go of how long you’ll get the chance to do that. Be happy for the time you did get to spend with your loved ones. Make every moment you DO have count.

    If your brother has only a limited time left, make it known that you care and were glad to know him. If there is any repairs to the relationship to be made, have the courage to make them…even if you are afraid or even if you think there is too much water under the bridge.

    I have three babies waiting for me in heaven, if there is one (not sure that there is, not sure that there is not). Who’s to say I’m not going to see them when it’s my time to go, you know?

    One thing I’ve learned…death does NOT stop us from being touched by the ones who left this world too soon. We may not see them, we may not touch them anymore…but I do believe they are still there…in spirit.

    Anyway…take care of yourself during this time. Go hug your children.


  6. Casey, thank you so much for all the info, I am truly sorry to hear about your babies, I believe there is a Heaven, and that God is real and I believe his word.
    Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  7. I thought about this some more…and wrote a post. It’s something I’ve been meaning to write for a while…and your current situation prompted me to go ahead and write it.


  8. Jim, so sorry to hear of your troubles. Best of luck with the positive changes you are trying to make for yourself and your family. Please remember to be patient with yourself and take things one day at a time.

  9. Hey Eva,
    Thanks so much, holding my little girl crying the other night was enough for me to lose my desire to smoke, I do not want her to have to feel that way because I choose to kill myself so now I choose not to I haven’t smoked in 2 days 🙂
    Thanks for coming by, Eva.

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