This Is Us

I Wish We All Lived Like We Had Cancer

Because with cancer, you learn to let the little things be little

Brandon Janous
Human Parts
Published in
7 min readApr 17, 2020
A photo of the author’s wife in front of a wall painting of wings.
Photo courtesy of the author.

Two years ago today, we got the call from the doctor to inform us that we had cancer. Yes, I said “we,” because it wasn’t just her. It was us. And it wasn’t just us, it was we.

A cancer diagnosis doesn’t just attack the patient. It attacks families. Our children. Her parents. My parents. Our siblings, nieces, and nephews. Our aunts and uncles. Our friends, our community, our tribe. We all got diagnosed that day.

It was never just her. It was us. It was we. We were all in this together. Heck, many of us would have raised a hand, traded places, and taken it from her in a second, if that’s how it worked. But cancer doesn’t work that way. Cancer has its own agenda.

A year ago today we were celebrating with some of our “we” in Palm Springs, as we had beaten cancer. It was awesome. We had no agenda. We sat by the pool all day long, for four straight days. We talked. We laughed. We ate a lot and we probably drank a little too much. We relished the fact that there would be no more chemo. No more radiation. No more surgeries. We could just breathe.

Turns out we were wrong. About nine months ago, it came back. The cancer came back, and it came back with a vengeance. There was a lot more chemo. Many more rounds of radiation. It came back to the point of no return and a month and a half ago, she went to be with Jesus. A month and a half ago, the most amazing person I’d ever known went to her eternal home, to be with the only one who could ever love her more than I could.

Cancer taught us so much and cancer sucks so bad. I know everyone knows that. I don’t need to preach to you all about how bad cancer is. How it doesn’t discriminate. How it doesn’t care about your agenda or the plans you’ve made. How it doesn’t care how healthy you may be, or how well you take care of yourself. And how it sure doesn’t care if you have small children. It just doesn’t take any of those things into consideration. I don’t need to tell you this but, just in case you didn’t know, cancer is a bitch.

You see, I can talk about all the things that cancer took from our “we,” but that’s not what…



Brandon Janous
Human Parts

Widower | Daddy to 3 | Writer | Storyteller | IG: @brandonjanous