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Thread: Cancer

  1. #1

    Cancer

    I haven't been watching wrestling.

    I couldn't care less. For a long time, which is why I don't write columns anymore.

    2 weeks ago, I saw some headlines popping up on my feed.

    "Reigns... speech... leukemia..."

    I remember my childhood clearly, yet the memories are vague.
    I mean, I remember how I felt about my dad and how it affected my family,
    But I don't quite remember the details.


    I was 5 years old, a quiet, unsmiling boy. Almost creepy how I often stare into space. None of my childhood photos has a smile on my face.

    The fact is, I was extremely imaginative.

    I love to daydream.

    I stared at my pre-school teachers and imagined how they are like fairy god-mothers with wings fluttering around the room. I looked at my classmates and imagined them as grown ups with tiny heads. But I was never expressive, despite my flair for creativity and imagination.

    I guess my propensity for absurd creativity made me fell in love with pro-wrestling.

    My dad, he loved wrestling.
    You see, he understood zero English. Nada, none.
    Me? I grew up not knowing ABCs very well myself.

    But pro-wrestling
    TRANSCENDS
    language barriers.

    90s wrestling, in particular, was vibrant, timeless and, often than not, tellingly obvious.
    It was so colorful, when Ultimate Warrior ran down the stage, donned out in his bright blinding colors.
    It was so vile, when Jake took out his sack of snakes and pour them on his fallen opponents.
    It was so generous, when Bret took his pink shades and put it on a boy at ring-side.
    It was so hyped and heroic, when Hogan hulked up at the final moment and won despite all odds.
    We didn't understand a single word, and yet we understood everything.

    I remember sitting down with my dad watching Bam Bam, Bret Hart, Undertaker, Shawn Micheals all jousting in the ring for the rumble win. It was exciting, and it blew my mind. I was 6 years old.

    I remember my dad. He came home every evening at 6:30pm and I would greet him, quietly in my own way. My mum would be cooking, the aroma filling the house, my little brother playing with his toys. Chinese, we use high heat and woks. So it's almost like smoking the whole house. It's funny how these memories are flooding me right now, the leather briefcase, my dad's smile, the smoke, the news anchor on the 7 pm news. Me, waiting for my dinner. My dad walking into the living room, taking his shoes off. It's all vivid.

    Then one day, my dad stopped going to work.

    I didn't know anything. The grown ups didn't show, nor tell.

    It was the prostate.

    Apparently, my dad worked for Yamaha Tires, as a logistic warehouse manager, and it was tough, hard labor. He walked out the house in the morning in simple white color shirt and black pants, but at his workplace, he changed to jeans and t-shirts, as he transported tires and car batteries from warehouse to warehouse. In the evening, he would simply changed back to his simple office wear before coming home.

    My mum told me the other day, that my dad often needed to be in contact with battery fluids, which was corrosive.

    How corrosive? Well, his entire pair of jeans could be ripped into 2 using bare hands easily.
    Every month, he bought a new pair of jeans for work.

    So he stopped going to work. But he was still strong, he carried me on his shoulders as we watched our favorite superstars on TV.

    Then one day, we went to the hospital.

    It was my first time.

    I hated it.

    My dad was on the bed. He wasn't talking much. I didn't ask much anyway, just the usual brooding, silent child I always was. But I remember my dad on the bed.

    I didn't know at that time, but he went through surgery. The doctors wanted to remove the tumor, but they burst the lump of cancerous cells. It was early 90s, and to be honest, cancer was akin to a death sentence.

    Chemo was just as bad. Radiography was ineffective. The surgery was a complete sham. It caused the cancer to spread, and serious infection along the long, deep stitches.

    For months, he was there. One of those days, I was so confused. I remember breaking my spectacles in half in front of him at bed side because I was so frustrated and angry due to my confusion of what had happened.

    I can't remember when, but my dad came home discharged from the hospital, and he couldn't walk far anymore. He was always sitting or lying down.

    The moans. You know how a person is in pain like he stepped on something sharp? It's like that. My dad was moaning everyday as he sat on the sofa, or laid on his bed.


    The chemo.
    He couldn't eat.
    He lost his hair.
    He vomited all the time.

    And he was losing weight. His flesh wrapped around his bone. His eyes and cheeks were sunken. I swear he looked like a skeleton.

    My relatives, they fled.
    No one wanted the responsibility.
    I think they all felt too weak-hearted to see their loved one became so deathly.


    Next I knew, he was bleeding from this gaping infection on his lower back.


    Then he started to stink.


    My dad could not walk anymore, and his back was full of rashes, from months of bed ridden immobility.

    My mum didn't has enough strength to carry him to the toilet in the kitchen.

    Next thing I remember, was the blue toilet seat. In the center of my living room, this giant throne, in pale blue, resting on top of the newspapers.

    A smelly, disgusting portable toilet bowl.

    That smell, the moans, the gloomy atmosphere. I remember that I stared into space for hours, or just sitting around watching TV.


    WRESTLING WAS STILL ON, more than ever.
    My dad would sit there with me and my brother,
    and we watched wrestling, because...
    What else can the poor man do?

    He never carried me in his arms again since the surgery.
    He was too weak.



    This went on for about a year.
    The television stopped.
    The moaning continued late into the nights.


    One fine day, his family came to claim him. Wanted to bring him back to his hometown, professing that a Chinese Taoist priest would pray over him and cure him. Yes, they believed, in superstitious tradition, that my mum "cursed" her husband with poor luck, thus causing his cancer.

    I remember my uncles carried my dad, his arms over their shoulders, into the van. My dad was muttering in pain. My mum was in tears. She whispered to herself: "I think, he goes back this time, he's not coming back."




    That was the last time I saw him. My dad.



    The years after that was tougher than ever. My mum was suicidal after my dad left, but she pulled through. She was stronger than anyone I ever knew, and today she is still, in her own way, mourning.




    I never watched wrestling again. Until I was 16 years old.











    Fast forward to 2018.

    I entirely stopped watching WWE. I was bored by Roman Reigns. I didn't necessarily dislike Reigns - I mean, he's a solid hand in the ring and he's grown on me with his slightly more suitable role as a hoss powerhouse. But I am just apathetic towards the storylines as a whole.

    WWE has not made me care for a single superstar, not even Daniel Bryan.



    But now I care.

    FAR TOO LATE.

    And regretfully, it takes something so hideous and painful and evil to make me care.



    FUCK CANCER.



    Just a few years back, a gaming community legend, Totalbiskit, lost his life to cancer. And then some in the community started posting shit like these on Reddit:


    As someone who saw his dad die of cancer, I can promise you that 'fuck cancer' is accurate. People die because of the actual unspeakable evil of the disease. Even if we had a robust and humane health care system that gave everyone the best chances through screening and early treatment to beat cancer, cancer would still be an absolute motherfucker.

    I can only conclude that this tale of my dad, the pain and anguish, is a reminder of the mortality of all mankind.

    Many of you may not have lived through someone in your family with this terrible disease.

    I had.

    I wish this on no one.

    Reigns is going to suffer. There's no doubt.

    I just pray that he will not need to go through what my dad had,
    and his family will not be mourning his death,
    and I pray he will be, as he promised, back in the ring.

    By then,
    I will be cheering him on as champion,
    even if it's due to sheer relief that the same painful, insufferable evil I had been through,
    was avoided by him and his loved ones.



    Last edited by JacobWrestledGod; 2 Weeks Ago at 11:59 PM.

  2. #2
    The Brain
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    JWG, this is a nearly overwhelming piece. How to respond to something so personal and powerful? You've opened an incredibly vivid window into your suffering and the suffering of others. It's wildly inadequate to even attempt empathy in this situation, but I'll still say I'm so sorry you had to go through that. Truly, nobody should.

    As Reigns goes, fandom becomes largely irrelevant when this kind of tragedy happens. Whether you liked his pretend fights or not becomes so distant as to not even register, leaving only a man struggling for his life. I can't wish him well enough with his struggle.

    Thank you for returning to share this. Your writing is as spectacular as ever, even if it's for a tragic reason.

  3. #3
    This was touching. It was almost hard to read as the pain of your memories seem to jump out of the screen. I can't relate to someone in my family passing away of cancer. I imagine the slow burn is what hurts the most as you have to watch them suffer and you're totally helpless.

    Really good column, this. Thank you for sharing.

  4. #4
    Mediocrity at it's finest kingzak13's Avatar
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    Great to have you back JWG, wish it was under better circumstances.

    I've not had an experience with cancer as yet, and I pray that I never do, it seems truly horrendous.
    *Ghostly wailing*

  5. #5
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    POWERFUL JWG

    Dude, it is rare that a piece gets a gutteral reaction from me but this was utterly brutal.

    The bit about you breaking your specs touched me for some reason. It is such a small detail but I can see in my minds eye the terrible panic and confusion in a child's mind that would cause that.

    "Then he started to stink"

    That was the true gut punch. NO matter how much we try to kid ourselves and wrap things up in euphemisms death is not honourable, it is not glorious, it is not clean and tidy. Death is the stench of decay.

    Man, I'm so sorry you had to go through that trauma and thanks for this amazing piece.

    Glad to have you back here even briefly. Hope you are going well.
    Last edited by SirSam; 2 Weeks Ago at 11:27 PM.



    @Sir_Samuel

  6. #6
    This is seriously heart-wrenching, Jake. I'm so sorry for what you and your family went through.

    Soaked with emotion and sadness, this was still an incredibly high quality piece of writing with a harrowing message. Incredible stuff.

  7. #7
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Powerful piece. Thanks for stopping by to share.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  8. #8
    Thank you everyone for your kind words. Really praying everything's ok for Reigns.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    We've talked about some of this, and during Reigns speech, I thought of you for a moment. It is a terrible thing for anyone to go through. I am watching it kill a friend atm and your column felt palpable. And that is just a friend I grew up with. I can't imagine it- for you or Reigns. And in that speech he accomplished what he and an entire company spent like 5 years trying to do, endear me to him. I want him to come back and win now. I hope he fights through it.


    I think your dad would be proud of who you are. Our conversations have shown me a lot about you. One of the only people I truly feel comfortable talking religion with, which is big for an agnostic. A shining example of why religion can be a great thing in the right hands. Through it all you generated a balance within your heart that is impressive.


    And your baby is your chance to give to them what cancer took from you.


  10. #10
    Junior Member
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    Thank you, JWG. This is what makes the CF so great. People investing their personal experiences into their writing, so much that it connects to people around the world. Wrestling just happens to be the vehicle to bring us together.
    Check out all the Cool Points columns here.
    LOP's resident nXt guy
    CF since 2013

  11. #11
    Damn, man.

  12. #12
    @Kleck and JCool: My buddies, it's been so long since we are seen around these parts. Hope you are doing well. My boy is a full blown toddler now, he's really a well behaved, happy boy.

    @Burn: Damn.

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