How My Brother's Battle With Cancer Taught Me How To Really Live Life

By The Mango Tree | 28 Jul, 2016

Editor’s Note: The views expressed here are those of the author’s and don’t necessarily represent or reflect the views of MangoBaaz.

Everybody has that special pivoting moment in their lives. The day they break off from their chains and say “Today is when I do it. Today is when I change“. For this to happen, there must be some sort of stimulus; a trigger. So with these words I start my essay, “he has cancer Hassan, he’s dying“. This was merely a confirmation to all my fears


I had seen my brother cough endlessly for the past 2 months and with the ceaseless weeping of my mother at night time, I knew how to add 2 and 2 together

Via: Pinterest

I didn‘t ask much, God knows I didn‘t have the courage. I drew up the image that this was a curable cancer; that all of this would end soon. “Stage 3, Lymphoma” is what my father said, and although he was in the army, you could hear his voice tremble. He was admitted in the most expensive hospitals in Karachi. I could see my father wanted to take zero risks. He underwent 3 or 4 surgeries, including an open heart surgery. One would remember if it were 3 or 4 exactly, but I really did not bother, I wanted this to end. I wanted this to be a nightmare, not a  to see him lie in bed everyday, helpless. Cycle after cycle of his chemotherapy. He was rotting there, unable to move, barely speaking. They called him alive, but to see a person be forced to eat liquid food, I wondered, “Is he really alive?”

His voice had changed to a more frail tone, and the hair he once treasured, gone. His muscles had degenerated,  hey had become jelly-like, his body had become as white as his gown. 

His heart was beating, but he was not alive.

Source: Shutter Shock

had to shatter my glass cage that was my own imagination; my self denial. One evening when I was looking after him, I went over to him. After months of not talking, I felt ready to do it. He looked at me without expression, moving only his eyes not his face. ” This isn’t you Haider. This isn’t my brother“. He kept staring at me; lifeless.“I may be confined to this bed, but you are not”, he paused.

“There was so much I wanted to do, so many dreams, and if I die on this bed, I’m taking them with me. I don‘t want you to turn out like me. Live.”

I still think about that to this day, it is my only motivation. That day I decided that enough was enough. I was going to live life. From that day onward, I made a promise to myself, to do something new, something adventurous each day. Gone were the days of endless procrastination

It is been a year now, and not a single day has gone by that I didn‘t enjoy myself.


Cancer has been the best and worst thing that happened. As for my brother, he‘s fine. He beat cancer. Ever since then I’ve been more optimistic about things. I’ve been more appreciative. I’ve been happier. If you ask about today‘s adventure, well I wrote this essay. Something new for me, something I feel confident at

Cancer gave me life.



About the Author: Ahmed is a 17 year old who likes to write, eat and look at dank memes.


Cover image via:

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