Last night my Uncle Carnell lost his battle with cancer. About a year ago he was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer.
Despite an ominous diagnosis he was optimistic. His first few treatments of radiation and chemo were extremely harsh.
My mother being a resourceful and determined person she is found new doctors for my uncle. Thanks to her he was able to receive great care from the doctors from Methodist Hospital.
At the time my Uncle was receiving treatment I was able to take him to and from treatment. We were able to bond like we hadn’t before and I’m extremely fortunate for that. I also was able to see what determination looked like. Whether it was raining or cold my uncle got up and went to treatment. When he didn’t feel so good and maybe he felt a little down he got up and he went to treatment. As a result, my uncle responded to the treatment a lot better.
I learned something so valuable about support systems during his first round of treatment. Our family took turns taking him to treatment. We visited with him. The kind staff at Methodist were supportive and very Friday therapy dogs came to visit. We were also able to fellowship with the therapy dogs care takers and they prayed for my uncle.
Sadly the cancer spread and the treatment coupled with the cancer overtook him.
As I write this I can’t say that I’m not sad, because I don’t think I’ve stopped crying since I started writing this entry. The tears aren’t all of sadness, but tears of good memories. I remember growing up and even as an adult my uncle was never afraid to tel me he loved me or that he was proud of me. However I hope he heard my words that I was proud of him and that I loved him for sticking with his treatment. For continuing to be a brother to my mother despite his struggle. For continuing to be a uncle to my sister and for always honoring my grandmother, his actual step mother, as his mother.
I wrote about flowers before this, but I reiterate to anyone able to or who took the time to read this, give the ones you love their flowers while they are still here.
I acknowledge that cancer may have won the physical battle, but it never won the spiritual battle with my uncle. My lasting memory won’t be of a hospital bed he lay in, but of him ringing the bell when he finished his first round of treatments.
RIP to my Uncle Carnell