My “Uncle” Ben was my dad’s best man, and he’s known me since I was born. He and my dad took me to numerous Gators football games. He helped me get a scholarship from the Kiwanis Club to help me pay for my degree at the University of Florida.
He was diagnosed several years ago with multiple myeloma, a cancer that forms in white blood cells in your bone marrow and makes it difficult for your body to fight infection. It can also affect your kidneys and other parts of your body. There is no cure, but treatments can help keep the disease at bay.
It seems the treatments are no longer helping. When my mom texted me the news today, it was like a punch in the gut.
I guess, technically, we are all dying. It’s just a matter of how quickly our lives pass. And I’ve known this would come for my Uncle Ben since his diagnosis. I just didn’t know when.
The last time I saw him was June 2014, when I visited Orlando for my baby shower. I’ve made efforts to visit again since my son was born, but trying to travel with a baby when you have a full-time job is difficult. The one time I was ready to go, my dad got ill. My trip never got rescheduled.
My parents suggested I write Ben an email. But every time I begin typing, my eyes well up, and everything I start to say sounds silly. What exactly do you say to someone who is dying of cancer?