Never feel sorry for yourself

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I have been a cancer patient for 13 years now. I've had many surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation, ups and downs but always dealt with my health issues head on. I'll never forget the most poignant moment during these years.

I was just finishing my chemo treatments and beginning radiation. I'm sitting at the cancer clinic waiting for the lab to draw blood. There were many of us there: mostly older, mostly female. Soon, a mother pushing her 10 year old (my estimation) daughter in a wheelchair came into the lab waiting area. The daughter was obviously undergoing chemo: she had the grayish skin tone, fluid retention puffiness and wearing a bandanna, like myself and most others there. She began to cry and said to her Mom "I just don't want them to take my blood again." Her mother knelt down beside her chair and spoke to her quietly. The little girl looked at her, dried her tears, buttoned up her chin and wheeled herself into the lab for her blood sample to be taken. My husband and I looked at each other and at that moment it was crystal clear that whatever I was undergoing, it was nothing that could not be dealt with.

When you see the little ones just starting their lives and yet facing one of the greatest challenges not of their doing, it really gives one pause for thought. I wish I knew what that mother said to her daughter: we've never forgotten that little girl. But I do know that in this life there are those who carry a much larger burden and I am just very thankful I am still able to carry mine.
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