I used to think words like “cancer” and “immunotherapy” described a simple disease that doctors were able to treat like any other. And at 14 years old, I had no reason to think any differently, for my father had simply told me that he might be “sick.” But that first day when I saw the trauma his affliction caused him, I immediately realized that skin cancer was neither quick nor painless, but agonizing and disturbing.
My dad is my hero. The source of my love and guidance was now fighting for his life.
After the doctors detected the melanoma in 2008, they thought they took care of it. But in 2017 the illness became more and more malignant, and the effects on my family were more and more severe. The endless amounts of surgeries and immunotherapy treatments consumed my father’s life, and affected my entire family. My mom had to spend most of her time and energy, while spending large amounts of money, to take care of my father’s health, consisting of weekly trips to Boston.
My self-esteem dropped and led to my affected my performance in school. I stopped believing I could excel as a student. My bad grades lowered my confidence even further, for my dad had always stressed academics quite heavily, but after seeing my grades, I felt like I had failed my father. Often I would think to myself, “I can’t take this any longer. I don’t have the time for this—I just don’t know what to do.
” Then I figured out how I could change my life. At the point when I felt like giving up for good and accepting my fate, I remembered my father. My dad struggled to fight his disease, and never once did he give in, because if he had, he probably would have lost his life. But by enduring the suffering so that he could live another day to see his family, he taught me how precious life is. He taught me not to give up. When I realized that by following his example I could overcome any obstacles, I Figured it out. I would take on the world fighting just like my dad. I would work to improve my grades and do well as a student. I would pursue my talents with an active passion. No more procrastinating. No more fear, and most importantly, no more giving up.
I am very proud of my ability to change my view of life and I owe all my accomplishments to my father. My dad has been there for me every step of the way. Even as a sick cancer patient, his example has taught me to face new challenges and conquer them, no matter what the difficulty of the challenge. I will never forget his discomfort and pain, but the way with which he faced his suffering is equally memorable. His struggle with melanoma became a model for my own struggle to improve myself. Even today I continue to fight, struggling with college tests like the SAT and applying for colleges. But I continue, knowing that the real test of my true ability is my determination to live bravely like my father and overcome the hardships of life. I can never thank my dad enough for what he has taught me and done for me. He is my role model.