My father walked with such determination that he might as well have been wearing a red cape and tights. Sure, this is a common perception for most children, but my parents survived the 1973 Cambodian genocide and have managed to provide a life for which my siblings and I will be forever grateful. When life got the best of me, my father always knew what to do and still does. As cliché as it is, he is my superhero. His catch phrase: “There’s always someone out there that views your life as a heaven.” Admittedly, this often went in one ear and out the next, but without it, I wouldn’t have been able to bear the unexpected.
During my freshman year of high school, my father was diagnosed with colon cancer. I ...view middle of the document...
I began missing my golf matches and eventually ended my participation. Though I was slightly disappointed, none of these events mattered because I realized my ability as an emotional rock for my family.
My dad’s illness resulted in financial difficulties, creating a domino effect ending in talks of bankruptcy. I knew my role in the situation and did what I could. Having a job and supporting myself has always been a goal, but became reality sooner than expected. Working 15 hours a week tutoring children to pay for my own school expenses was and still is frustrating. To this day, I am guilty of the resentment I once felt toward my life, my family included. I often wished I could close my eyes and revert back to a life before the cancer, but I knew this wishful thinking only amplified my pain and left me increasingly vulnerable.
I used to believe that too often I put so much into life, and it wasn’t reciprocated. Only now am I able to grasp the idea that what’s reciprocated is the ability to use past pains as fuel for the journey on. My father’s battle has profoundly shaped my path toward becoming an oncologist. If he is capable of striving for his life, then what difficulty lies in taking that extra AP class or dedicating a Friday night to homework? It has been five years since my father’s recovery. My life really could have been considered a heaven. Once my dream is met, I not only desire to witness multiple healings but also to keep my fathers “catch phrase” going as a source of moral support and strength to patients who are at the start of viewing life as a new found “heaven” once they recover.