This blog was written by Hardeep Nandra
I am sharing a story of one of my close friends. This friend (Let’s call this person Kay for keeping their identity confidential) of mine is an honest person, good workout buddy, a great father and husband. He would always have a great smile and a positive outlook on life. I have been friends with him since I moved to Edmonton. We usually met for workouts on the weekends and went for evening walks in the park. We would talk about our lives, work and ask each other for advice in some situations and of course, we would talk nonsense as well. His main concern was to make more, save more to get his mortgage paid asap.
This summer, Kay and I couldn’t get our workout schedules to meet and we missed about 2-3 weeks of working out together. Then, Kay texted me one day saying, “Hardeep, let’s go for a walk tomorrow and I will come pick you up from your place.” Surely, I was excited to see my friend and catch up. After we reached the park and started walking around, Kay said, “Hardeep, I want to tell you something.” Kay had a serious face and started talking about himself having some minor pain in his upper left abdomen area for some days. He went to see his family doctor to get this checked out and the doctor recommended MRIs and some other tests.
At this point, in my head, I am thinking that it might be appendicitis and then I thought it couldn’t be appendicitis as the appendix is on the right side of the body. Then, I am thinking it must be just gas and Kay is just overreacting. Kay goes on with his story mentioning that he went back to the doctor to get his results and was told that he is in the first stage of cancer and that he will go through his treatment options next week.
After hearing this, I was shocked, and I didn’t know how to react. Part of me was telling me that Kay must be trying to pull a prank on me but the other part of me knew this was very real and was happening in real time. Now Kay was very down as he had so much that he wanted to accomplish and live for. He wanted to be there for his kids for their University grads, wedding days and when they needed his advice.
He was almost in tears and I am still processing this information. Now, since I wasn’t in his shoes, I couldn’t feel his pain and I didn’t even know what to say. I thought that if I was diagnosed with cancer and was waiting for treatment to start, would I want a shoulder to cry on and to be sad in my last days? The answer was a hard NO! Then I said to Kay, “I’m not in your shoes and I can’t feel what you’re feeling. You need to man up and fight this situation for your family. I have heard of people fighting cancer and winning. Stay strong! I am here to support you in any way you need me.”
With this our evening walk came to a close and we parted ways to our homes. I was still processing this information as Kay and I have so many fun memories and I thought I was losing a close friend to cancer. I started thinking of my family and that if I were to pass away tomorrow, what measures have I taken to take care of my family. The things that instantly came to my mind were: A Will to deal with my assets and liabilities, a Personal Directive – in case I couldn’t make my own health decisions, a Power of Attorney – if I became incapable of dealing with my finances. The last thing on my mind, while dealing with terminal illness, would be to take care of my finances and other matters. If I have an Estate plan in place and I become terminally ill, I would at least have some peace of mind that my family will be taken care of.
Please cherish your loved ones while they are still with you and try to leave your love and support with them even after you’re gone.
Update on Kay: he is going through chemotherapy and is doing well.