How my grandfather defied cancer

Picture of Frederick Dodson

Frederick Dodson

When my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer, he was told he had “three more months to live – at most”.
He lived another 15 years.
Even though I was only around 10 years old at the time, I have vivid memories of the family getting really sad, even making funeral preparations.
The doctors told him to stay in bed and take it easy, but he went playing Golf almost every day. No one in the family supported his golf play, they were all telling him to stay home, as the doctor said. He was defiant.
He said to us: “Doctors don’t decide when I die, God decides”.
The year after the diagnosis was awkward. Friends and relatives were waiting for him to die, but he wouldn’t. The situation became stressful. I don’t know whether he ever went back to the doctor for a checkup. Finally, people around him let go of the notion that he’s going to die.
This is how I learned, very early, that it’s not up to doctors to declare reality for someone. Miracles happen. Recovery happens. I also learned that just believing something – even if it isn’t true – can bring depression to an entire family. Belief determines your state.
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