Cancer Proximity

When I was a kid, the only time I hear about people getting cancer is on TV, usually in dramas. Then, all forms of cancer were terminal, and so, it’s always been known as a frightening disease to be diagnosed with. However, since it was mostly fictional characters with that disease, it felt distant.

As I grew up, cancer became more real as two of my polytechnic classmate’s aunts passed away from cancer. Note that this wasn’t two classmates, but two aunts of the same classmate. And a third aunt of hers was diagnosed with cancer as well while we were still in polytechnic. It felt real but still, they were relatives of a friend; people I don’t know in person.

After moving to Japan, cancer got even closer when a former polytechnic schoolmate and army platoon mate, Minghao, passed away from cancer. That was following an ex-colleague’s passing a year before, regarding both of whom I’ve written about. To be honest, while they were very heartbreaking, I wasn’t super close with them so it still felt like something a slight distance away.

Last year, a very good friend of mine R, whom I knew since secondary school, was diagnosed with nose cancer. Suddenly, it felt like cancer was beginning to come really close to my life. I was worried, but learned for the first time that it can be cured so that was the good news. But at the same time, cancer still held the image of something deathly and so I was praying that he would pull through. Some time later, he announced that he finished his treatment and was recovering well. That was a relief and I had thought that was as close as it can get until I learned a few days ago that my dad was diagnosed with cancer.

I recall writing the post on Kondo Makoto, a doctor who promoted non-treatment of cancer. But when it comes to someone as close as my dad, I’d rather he go get the treatment. I’m not sure how much he’ll be covered by Medisave but I know he doesn’t have insurance so I can only hope that the whole treatment wouldn’t cost too much although I’m a little worried about that since R told me his treatment cost him over $100,000. The good thing for R was that he had insurance and riders to cover most of his medical fees.

Please pray for my dad.

Thank you.


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