18 April 2010

Taking in the News

I've seen the exact same scene played out differently in so many movies. You know, the one set in the hospital, where the doctor enters somberly and asks you to step out of the room because he has the results of the latest exam done to your relative. You brace yourself, thoughts, both good and bad, keep swirling and shouting in your head. Your heart is pounding loudly as if it could burst out your chest any minute. The anticipation is just killing you. You deny that he's going to tell you bad news, but you know, deep down in your gut, that it is.

He looks at you for a minute, his lips pursed to a grim line. Then he proceeds to tell you that the cancer has spread all over. He suggests alternative treatments, but honestly, nothing significant is registering. Just that you've seen this scene played out in movies.

If this were indeed in movies, you'd see people crying, either hysterically or a few tears trickling down.

Not me. I just stared at the doctor and repeated what he said. I tried to think of intelligent questions to ask, but ended up babbling like a fool.

I wasn't supposed to receive this news. My dad was. But it was my "shift" at the hospital, to take care of my grandfather.

I wanted to cry, but I can't. Maybe it's because I'm not that close to him.

Or maybe, it still is not sinking in. The fact that one of us has cancer.

The doctor didn't even give me a consoling pat on the shoulder or something to show he (at least) cared. But that's so minor now, if you think what we have what's ahead of us.

But really, the hardest part was telling my dad the news. Both of us must have looked older than our years then. It was awkward, but we had to.