Family, Myself

Regret: A Blog Post

UBC Hospital
Image via Wikipedia

“Hey Sanjay, your _______ has been taken to the hospital.  Nothing to be worried about and…” the rest of the words were a blur as the immense guilt overwhelmed as I imagined that person not being part of my life.  In mili seconds, all the memories, half-said reminders to do more, talk more, spend more time with that all important person hit, and I numbly went through the motions of changing out of my workout clothes and got into the shower.  The water touched my body but not my mind, and I cannot remember if I had soaped myself or just stood in the water, aching for all the things I never got around to doing with them.  “Please, please let it be all ok. Please let them be here” I prayed to the nameless entity, my entire soul focused on the regrets of not doing more, of the last time I met them and the laughter we shared. I just could not imagine not seeing them during my wedding, now only 28 days more and wondered what kind of cruel Being takes away even that much happiness from me and them.

It was at 1am and as I sat in that hospital room, relieved that for now everything was ok, I was ashamed at my selfishness.  I only thought about me and my feelings, and tried to imagine how they must feel to lie in that bed and know that each subsequent hospital visit could be their last.  I watched as they breathed gently, at peace and smiling drowsily each time the nurse came by, jarring us both with the harsh light, apologizing for intruding but not really meaning it.

So there we sit in that room, regret my friend while relief the soldier who conquered that small room, allowing for another day, another moment, of just being with them.

Darkness. Light. Regret.  Relief.  We are who we allow ourselves to be.

Cancer, Myself, Preeti

Run This Town

Rocky IV
Image via Wikipedia


by Jemal Yarbrough


Cue “Run This Town” by Jay Z from his Hits Collection Vol 1, put it on repeat, flash to another waiting room, another place where nurses don’t look at you or can’t remember her name, surrounded by some smiling, others crying, some just blank and others just there.  Time ticks.  The music goes on and the heart expands, and in those 4 minutes, you look around the dreary room and say “we gonna run this town tonight.”  Flash to the car, hitting 100 miles an hour, feeling like 200, and you keep the song on repeat, nothing else will do, this song, this Anthem, gotta break the rules, I don’t care, I am gonna run this town tonight.  I pledge the allegiance to her, this is almost over, a small bump, blip in the radar of life, we got this baby.  Almost there.

Time becomes meaningless, only the music remains, the thoughts only her, willing her to hear your heart, almost there babu,  the finish line is coming up.  All your love, all your work, everything you got, give it to him now (quoting Rocky 4, Duke’s speech to Rocky in the last round versus Drago), and then another line hits me (He’s cut, you see, he’s a man, he’s not a machine.  He’s hurting. No pain, no pain!) and suddenly Cancer is our Drago, you ain’t so bad. We are coming to the final around soon, and your are cut, and guess what: we run this town.  No pain. All our love, all our happiness, all our dreams, all our hopes, desires, just around the corner.  We have just begun, we didn’t pick the fight but we are going to end it with a knockout.  The only way to live baby because we run this town.

Cancer, Myself, Preeti

Liar: A Blog Post


by Jemal Yarbrough


You lied to me” she accused me groggily, her eyes still heavy with the general anesthesia, dangerously pulling me to the brink of breaking down.  But the tears never made it to my eyes, I would not, could not let them.   All she saw was my smile, and the assurance that this phase was over.  What did the doctor say, she asked?  Babu, just rest and we can talk about it later.  Was not telling her a lie?  Yes it was, but it is a lie I will tell her over and over.  In this case, the truth would not set us free, the irony hitting me when I think about the friend I betrayed recently.  When is a lie ok, the right thing to do?  Now.  Always. When it involves her current fight with cancer.

The actions and emotion sof this week flutter around in my mind.  Words said, regrets swallowed, anger yelled, the many emotions of the body come up and I realize that we are just at the beginning of this very long road.  From a procedure that yielded one great hope, to getting hit by a guy running a red light, I realize life continues.  I cannot lie, I am scared yet in there is a voice growing stronger, saying we will get through this.  I know we can and we will. I can keep looking at the past, let the regrets pile up, the fear dominate my days, while watching her in pain and nausea or I can hold her, give her my strength, let her know, everything will be ok, no more lies, everything will be ok.  I will be a liar when needed but the there is only one truth: She will be fine.