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Dear Dad

Dad, you have always been a man of science, and your life is ruled by evidence-based decisions and logic. This is, of course, a remarkable skill and allows you to view things objectively and make sound choices, which has led to some great career achievements. Seeing how well respected and valued you are in the science community makes me so proud. Ooops, is this starting to sound like a eulogy? Sorry, you'll find humor gets a little dark when cancer is involved... What you like to call the 'fluffy' stuff in life has always been somewhat secondary to reason and logic, which has always served you so well up until cancer dominated your life. I have had many conversations with you about how your biggest struggle is the lack of control you have over this new intruder. Prior to this, you have been able to control certain outcomes by relying on your insight, intelligence, and grit to get through tricky situations.

Dad has mostly kept his struggles to himself, and for a large part not shared how much he has battled physically and emotionally. One of the more tangible and heart-breaking aspects I have witnessed has been seeing you become bound to your lazy boy chair, at times unable to complete normal daily activities due to pain and exhaustion from the treatments and effects of the cancer taking hold in your body. To see someone who normally can't sit still for five minutes and who thrives off being active and getting things done reduced to a chair-bound hermit is sad to watch. Seeing you in such a vulnerable and dependable state made me feel so sad but I now realise that from this vulnerability you have cultivated inner strength, which has helped you to battle your nemesis.

Seeing your perspective slowly shift throughout your cancer journey has been MASSIVE. Your outlook on life and the importance of how positive thinking has infiltrated your mind is amazing! It's like you're a different person the way you talk about the link between the body and mind. Personally, it has been so encouraging to see you discover this new facet, and watching you incorporate positivity into your mindset while facing such a scary and hard time in your life is inspiring.

I wanted to write this letter to you and post it on this forum as I believe the way you have handled this physical, mental, and emotional cancer battle is remarkable and can inspire others and continually remind each of us to live life to the fullest and invest our time in the things that truly matter most.

Dad, you are not alone in your journey. You are valued, loved and cherished by us all

All my love,

Hannah x

And now, for some good news (finally)!

People, we have shrinkage! Clear, undeniable shrinkage that actually blew the socks off Dad's oncology doctor. Better-than-expected, marvelous, wonderful shrinkage. Hallelujah! Just take a look at the images below. On the left, we have Dad's cancer as it was six weeks ago, on the right we have the new, slimmed-down accessories. And the picture is even better for the primary tumour in the colon, which Dad forgot to take a photo of as he was overwhelmed with joy. Who knew pictures of Dad's innards could inspire such awe and wonder? It truly is a Christmas miracle.

It's nearly Christmas, and this is without a doubt the best present we could ask for this year. We pray that this is just the beginning of a new pattern of improvement. This rollercoaster sure is taking us to dizzying new heights!



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