Today is World Cancer Day.
Oh yes, there it is… the dreaded C word… Cancer.
It the one word that really keeps giving me stress from time to time and a disease that has taken away two of the most important people in my life. My mom and dad.
Here you see them on their wedding day.
Having become orphans at a very young age, my sister and I had to rely on each other and count on the solid base our parents provided for us. The fear and profound sense of loss, created a bond with my sister that is stronger than anything in my life. It’s been hard, a struggle, which it still is at times, …
Loosing your parents changes you forever. Yet it has also made us who we are today. I’m so proud of my sister, a beautiful, strong woman and now a wonderful mother herself.
Jan Goossens, director of the KVS in Brussels, wrote a wonderful essay in De Standaard (only in Dutch) a few weeks ago in which he talked about his chronic leukemia. How he is not against cancer per se, but has found a way to live with it. His words have opened up another debate about cancer and about how we deal with this disease, with death, etc…
‘Even so, you notice that our society has a hard time dealing with it. Thinking and talking about cancer remains caught up in black and white images and contradictions. Either you have cancer yourself and a right to pathetic compassion and masked sensationalism, while they talk behind your back and most people conclude that the disease will get you sooner or later. Or you don’t have cancer and are part of the happy few that ferociously try to stay healthy and undergo regular screenings for this and that. Either way we must all be ‘against’ cancer: it’s a jet-black and to any price avoidable verdict that scares the hell out of us all.’
Jan’s thoughts are difficult, different, … yet his words have really inspired me and remind me to keep seeing a glass as half full instead of half empty. Life is so short and we must try to live it to the fullest, surround us with people that we love and that make us happy and not be scared of emotions good or bad. They are a part of our lives too and make us who we are.