Wednesday April 20th 1994 is a day that I will never forget. At 3.58 am my Dad lost his battle with cancer. He had battled the disease for almost a year. In truth he had probably been battling it for longer than that but we were all unaware of it. Seeing him go from a vibrant, independent man to a shadow of his former self during that year was hard to see. And yet, even to the end, when he depended on the nurses to help him move in the bed, I still believed that he would somehow beat the cancer that ravaged his body.
The more than 17 years that have passed since that Wednesday morning, when our world was blown apart, have brought many changes. My life, and the lives of my Mum and my brothers and sisters, has changed beyond recognition in that time. There have been marriages, births, new houses and many other occasions that he has missed. For me, the most poignant changes are the many grandchildren who have been born, but who he never got to meet. They have missed out on the special relationship that they would have had with him. So that’s why I’ve been thinking of my dad today, World Cancer Day.