The Big Bad Monster: Cancer

There are a number of reasons why the previous year needed to be celebrated instead of pushed aside. For in that year, I have accomplished things that I only imagined three years ago. I have completed my university degree. It was a year that, although extra hard work and patience was necessary, I was able to triumph over the usual school rebellion syndrome. So in total, 2016 has been an eventful one- mostly happy with occasional lows.

But while it is a year of reward, it is also unexpectedly the beginning of termites slowly eating away our family. In December 2016, the news came out that the “big bad monster” was able to penetrate our peaceful home. By that, I meant an illness that catalyses a cascade of psyche-bending, emotion-stirring course of events.


As if it’s not hard enough that one member of the family is sick, it became even impossibly painful that our family is geographically estranged.

We were all pretty much in shock.

We were all trying to be strong.

We were all hopeful.

Being in the medical field, there is this permeability in what you’re mind can take in. Nurses’ have different filters yet these filters are pervious to external stimulus. It is a tricky profession. It is a massive irony. It requires empathy yet demands professionalism –perhaps in equal degree in order to achieve an equilibrium. I tell you that this is not the most natural thing. Nurses are not run by complex commands and programs, yet they found an internal psyche modifications.

This psychological state is structured.

It was different when it is a family member going through such an ordeal. I was in oncology in the last two months of my clinical placement. I breathe Oncology and I have seen the course of different kind of cancers in action. It was an educational experience as a student, learning new concepts, practicing new skills, but at the same time can be draining emotionally. Somehow, I found a way to build an emotional barrier between me and my patients without looking and feeling like a corpse in front of them. Like an electricity switch, I learned to switch on and off my emotional strings in order to protect myself from breaking down.

But when it is your blood, the protective barriers dematerialise. It is disarming. It is like going back to square one. The pain quadruples, the distress heightens.

I worry about the future. The uncertainties.

How much will the future change? What necessary sacrifices are we all willing to forge?


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