My dad died three years ago today, and in honor of making this day positive, when otherwise it’d be pretty dreary, I put together and delivered some chemo blessings bags to our local cancer center (more on them below).
Our History with Cancer
In some ways it feels like it was just yesterday that my dad passed away; I can relive the exact moment when I found out. In other ways it feels like it’s been longer than three years.
Cancer has been part of our lives for more than a decade.
It started when he had Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma back in 2005. I remember him going though chemo, and I remember how absolutely horrible it was.
It was a life-saving treatment, of course, but its side effects were just terrible.
I remember him saying—once he was in remission—that he would never go through chemo again. It literally sucked the life out of him, and he was always different after that first bout of cancer.
And then he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in 2016, pretty much out of nowhere, and our world came to a crashing halt. He started chemo, because…we begged him to, and because when that’s the only option to slow the disease down, that’s just what you do.
I remember FaceTiming him the first day he was in the hospital, and I asked him if he was going to fight it and do the chemo. He didn’t even look at me.
He paused for far too long before he answered, and then looked over at the camera/phone and nodded his head. I’m not calling my dad a liar, but I knew the second I asked that he wouldn’t be giving 110% like last time.
He died less than three weeks later.
So here we are, three years later, and I want to spread more hope to people, because cancer sucks; chemo sucks. Over the past decade, through the help of my friends, family, and customers, I’ve helped raise more than eight thousand dollars for cancer research, but I couldn’t stop there.
I distinctly remember my dad going to his chemo treatments at the New Mexico Cancer Center, and getting so excited and happy when people brought in treats. Whether it was an actual, literal treat, or maybe a blanket or hat someone made for patients, he was always so humbled and thankful for it.
Chemo Blessing Bags
That’s why I wanted to put together these chemo blessing bags.
They’re not going to cure anyone, and it’s not going to change a diagnosis, but I pray they will help bring a little bit of hope or a smidgen of happiness on a really crappy day.
I put a call out in my FB group, and in my personal circle for people to sponsor a bag, and thirty people answered that plea.
They sponsored a bag for $15, and with that I bought the insulated reusable bag, and stuff to go inside.
Then, I wrote an encouraging note on a card and signed it with each person’s name.
I won’t get to see who receives a bag, so I can only hope and pray it’ll bring a little happiness to use during treatments, and something to take home with them.