Tag Archives: cancer


I do this once, maybe twice a year, and it makes it all the more difficult to write this. I hold on to 364 days worth of memories and regrets, only to struggle with myself on your birthday. On the first of October every year, I take something from the empty space inside and try my best to cram it into an empty one outside. There are just too many memories to choose from, ones I recall like it were only yesterday.

Yes, I remember putting a hand on my zip and dancing like a second-hand Michael Jackson for you when you were on your wheelchair. I also remember how you spilled filter coffee on a pristine white bed-sheet of your hospital bed, and the nurse gave you a look like you had murdered her family or something. I still remember laughing until my eyes watered.

I also remember not-so-happy things; fighting with you and telling you I wouldn’t talk to you until you ate, didn’t matter if the cancer made you nauseous. I remember carrying you to the bathroom in the middle of the night as you winced in pain. Things that I try not to think of, but still a part of the limited time we spent and loved together.

So today, as I write this, everything just comes flooding back. It happens everyday, but just that little bit more today. Happens when we cut your birthday cake without you; it happens when we eat a dinner dedicated to you with one empty chair at the table. But it also reminds me how lucky I have been, and how much I’ve learnt and continue to learn from you. It also keeps my feet on the ground; the standards you’ve set for perfection are so far and distant that it drives me on even more to keep your legacy alive. You live through me and I know I might never get there, but I promise to try and show the world who you really were.

I love you, you beautiful, beautiful person. I miss sitting on your bed, staring into the same eyes you gave me and talking to you.
Happy birthday, I miss you. Thank you for everything I am today.


The Fighter Within II.

A million screams,

and a billion dreams,

Suspended by a thread in the room,

Foreheads soaked,

as their minds all hoped,

Someone would lift the cloud of gloom.

From each extremes,

and everything in between,

Tears ran dry and eyes were sore,

As they sat in wait,

awaiting their fate,

wondering if a loved one was at heaven’s door.

Doctors rushed,

the commotion gushed,

everyone anxiously awaiting their turn,

To walk right in,

and meet their kin,

Before their agony would spill out and burn.

During this phase,

a few eyebrows were raised,

towards the sight at the end of the room;

A lady quite frail,

and a tall, young male,

laughing and smiling in this cauldron of doom.

Some of them wondered,

as the others thundered,

How could anyone smile in a place like this?

They found it unfair,

all of them there,

that those two people were happily in bliss.

So one of them walked,

and decided to talk,

wanting to vent all his rage in brief,

His patience broken,

as soon as he’d spoken,

“Are you two blind or just oblivious to grief?

Our loved ones are on a bed,

some already dead,

you think it’s funny we sit here and grieve?

I don’t want to fight,

but trust me I might,

so I beg you just stand up and leave.”

The young boy smiled,

which drove the man wild,

as he waited for one of the two to explain;

Their lack of pity,

engaged his curiosity,

why couldn’t they understand his pain?

Then the silence broke,

as the young boy spoke,

“Good sir, I would like you to meet my mother,

Cancer stage five,

just barely alive,

so you’re wrong that I can’t understand pain of another.

For two long years,

I saw all of my fears,

come true and I could do nothing to keep,

her pain away

even just for a day,

so I would just sit down, hug her and weep.

But tell me good sir,

if you have an answer,

if there’s any good in reminding us of her fate?

No I wouldn’t let her,

even if she isn’t getting better,

sit down and cry out the rest of her days.

Wouldn’t you smile,

Take her away for a while,

Remember the good times in what are her worst?

Wouldn’t you be proud,

That you never bowed,

And that before death you got to her first?

Your loved ones have a chance,

of waking from their trance,

but I sadly know what lies ahead for me,

So I would be glad,

if you don’t make us sad,

and leave us to laughter and just let us be.”

As the man listened,

his eyes glistened,

as he returned to the corner where uncertainty loomed,

He looked at the fighter,

as his heart grew lighter,

hearing the the sound of their laughter echo in the room.


This one’s for you Mom. Hope there’s some way you might get to read it.



If you didn’t see what happened that night, when I stood all alone beside your bed,

I’m writing this now so you get to read, every little thing that went on inside in my head.

I drew the curtains and latched the door, I didn’t want anyone to hear what I had to say,

The only exception would have been you, but you couldn’t hear me now anyway.


So I just held your hand and it was so cold, just like this world which gave you pain,

I asked you questions which I asked you everyday, ( I asked over and  over again.)

I waited like an eternity for you to reply.. For you to just do anything at all for that matter,

I could hear my heart pounding in that empty room, and when you didn’t move I heard it shatter.


They say everything that happens is for the best,  but how am I to think of this for the better?

How could you leave without saying good bye, or without any last words to hold this heart together?

I cried and prayed, experienced a world of pain, until your blanket was stained with my tears,

I opened every corner of my heart to you, every hidden emotion, every thought and ever fear.


I begged you to come back once and talk to me, and tell me everything that I wanted to hear,

I just wanted to tell you everything I left unsaid, I wanted to hug you and hold you near.

It wasn’t easy accepting so many things, like the fact that I won’t see you smile,

that I won’t have anyone to run back to,when miserable things like this would start to pile


I wouldn’t hear your laugh echo in the hall back home, or any thing else with your special touch,

It wasn’t even 5 minutes since you were gone, it was devastating I missed you so much.

I just want you to know that I’m so very proud of you, for inspiringme to be everything nice,

I’m proud you you fought on with a smile on your face, even when the cancer relapsed twice.


It wasn’t easy seeing you suffer like that, and I know it wasn’t easy for you too,

And I’m glad you’re in a much better place now, even if it means staying away from you.

I’ve seen you fight these months with your soul, when it would’ve been easier to give in and leave,

You chose to live when it was easier to die, and you made everyone around you believe.


I want you to know I’ll do whatever to walk in your shoes, I’ll even try to better whatever you saw,

I’ll light up lives, smile all the way, (Yeah., even find you your beautiful daughter in law.)

But do know you’ve left behind a hole so big, one that probably will never ever be filled,

A hole that’ll only disappear when my wish of meeting you once again is fulfilled.


Only after I made all these confessions, was when I decided it was time to leave,

My final promise was that I wouldn’t cry anymore, that this was the last time I would grieve.

So I clasped your hand one last time and prayed, then I did the hardest thing ever asked from me,

I kissed you goodbye and broke down again, i hope this one time you’ll let my emotions run free?


Life is going to be anything but easy after you, all straight roads will now curve uphill,

Starting from losing the most lively person in my life, and watching her lie absolutely still.

Rest assured I know you’re watching me right now, writing this struggling to hold my own,

But these wounds will take their time to heal, so will this feeling of being all alone.


Till then I hope you promise to watch over us all, to make it a little easier than it now seems,

I hope you give us the strength to go on without you, and that you speak to us in our dreams.

Ask God to give me a kid who smiles like you, so that I never have a reason to complain,

Ask God to send a little of your warmth with the light, a little of your love with the rain.


In turn I’ll remember you’re always around me, and I’ll try  not to be forever scarred,

And that inspite of all that has happened, you’re gone but still never too far.


Little Things.

She stood in the distance, unaware just how lovingly I was staring at her. She slowly glided past me, as gently as the delicate breeze that swayed the few thin strands of hair on her head. The sound of uneasy, imbalanced footsteps echoed in the room, as she lowered herself onto a wooden chair that moaned as she collapsed into it. Little beads of sweat trickled down her once beautiful dusky skin, now botched with black patches, remainders and reminders of the ordeals she had undertaken in the past few months. A look of intense concentration spread itself across her face, as she tried to focus her attentions to the cup of hot tea that lay on the table in front of her.

She reached out ever so slowly, trying to stop it from shivering as her hand clasped at the winter air, trying to grab the handle of the teacup. Her fingers felt around it’s scathing surface, trying to find the strength to lift it to her parched lips. Them a moment of calm, its silence broken only by her heavy breathing, and the gentle clanging of the teacup against the glass saucer. She sighed, as she heaved the cup upwards, the cancer drugs inside her body disrupting her sense of balance and normalcy. The hot tea spilled across the table for a second, but she only chuckled at her clumsiness.

Her hands still trembled, like a candle flame nearing the end of its existence, but that only seemed to make her even more determined. Her eyes drifted in and out of a world only she could understand, trying to speak to a mind so thoroughly drained that it wished for nothing but peace and tranquility. The morphine which dulled her unbearable pain from the chemotherapy, had already sapped the boundless energy that danced in her smiles. Yet she fought hard to keep awake, to keep trying, wanting to do one of the very few things she was allowed to do without feeling handicapped. The strain showed clearly on her face, as the cup of tea came ever so close to her lips. The smell of tea wafted close to her, tantalizing her, as the cup came even closer. Her lips, full of cracked lines running like fissures across the drought stricken plains, anticipated the warm liquid that would touch them, free them from their fate.  She closed her eyes as the tea touched her lips, savoring the beauty of her thirst being quenched. She sipped it in utter ecstasy, the most beautiful smile stretching itself across her face. The chair groaned once more and so did she, as she gathered all her strength to stand back up, her slow foot steps now made their way towards me. She smiled once more and looked at me, I smiled back. ‘I love you son’ she whispered, before the echoes of her footsteps faded away.


Her pain threatens to tear her insides apart, imprisoned eternally without parole,

She closes her eyes for once to save her the pain, to lull the demons running riot  in her soul.
She promises herself to not scream in rage, at the cancer drugs breaking her mind,
She tells herself she’ll survive another day, and all this will be a memory left behind.
Taunted by the world that spins before her eyes, every detail that drowns in a haze,
Her limbs paralyzed and then springing to life, in a frustratingly cyclic phase.
Sleepless nights robbing her mind of the peace, that could save her from moments of insanity,
Of not being able to tell day from night, of moments spent crying for a little  clarity.
And as she sits wrapped in a world of her own, she hears footsteps and the sound of the door,
And suddenly her mind felt a lot more at ease, the weight on her shoulders so much lighter than before.
Her 6 year old daughter came into the room, she walked up to her and clasped her hand,
And second after second of blaming the world, she finally found  something in it that could understand.
Her touch, her voice, everything about her, made the world as beautiful as it had ever been,
The pain in her now was slowly subsiding, and she knew it wasn’t because of the morphine.
She realized this was the only part of her day, when the pain inside her would cease,
So she smiled and then she closed her eyes, to savour her only moment of peace.