Everything happens for a reason; an ancient cliché repeated countless times.

Is it true that there was a reason behind my grandfather’s relapse due to his lymphoma? I believe this traumatizing experience taught me important life lessons that I will always carry within me. I learned there is not a child- friendly manner of explaining cancer. There is nothing that can take away the pain, anger and frustration. At eight years old, it was difficult to grasp the seriousness of what was happening. My cousins and I laughed, played, and ran around the hospital having fun while my grandfather battled and fought for his life. Looking back on that summer, I feel a sense of regret for how I acted and my lack of understanding. Just when things started looking up, it seemed as if they had a way of crashing back down again and turning my whole world upside down. When the septic shock set in, my family received the message to say our final goodbyes. However, my grandfather possessed an underlying strength that no other human being could duplicate. To this day, he says that this “underlying strength” is synonymous with the word grandchildren. Nothing in the world, not even cancer, was going to keep him from his grandchildren. Due to the septic shock causing the blood flow to his extremities to be cut off, the doctors were forced to amputate parts of his hands and feet. He may have lost three toes and his thumb, but he never lost hope. I only wish that someday I’ll have half the strength my grandfather does. The images of seeing my grandfather hooked up to all sorts of machines will forever remain in my mind, but more importantly, so will the building of memories of spending time together for many years to come. This struggle reassures me that I want to be a nurse above anything else. I want to support a family, just like my grandfather’s medical staff supported ours. Never again will I take anything for granted because in the blink of an eye, everything can change. With all that I learned that summer, I truly believe everything does happen for a reason, and that every traumatizing experience can teach you something about yourself.

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