There are times when I am discouraged, shut down, questionioned and in those times I try my best to sit back and pay attention to what is going on around me to find the real ansnwers. I LISTEN to the truth and the reality of life and try to refoucus myself on what I need to be doing…and this is what I came up with:
Last week I woke up and felt like it was a cancer day. “Cancer Day”…what is that you ask?? A day when you feel like waking up and kicking cancer in the face. It was one of those days. I put on my necklace that my dad had made for me that represents Jack and his battle and was out for the day. Now this doesn’t mean I planned on going out and talking to every person I ran in to about cancer, Jack, and Neuroblastoma…but my mind was swirling with ideas about what we, as a Foundation, can do to make a difference. While I was out I was thinking about this family that I didn’t even really know and their son, Blake. Blake has recently been diagnosed with Melanoma of the brain at the age of 18. I heard about him through the committee that I am on for “Children’s Fight for Life” and decided to reach out to his family because we know a very strong man named John who has taken on Melanoma four times and won. John’s wife, July, had shared John’s full story with me so I could pass it along to Blakes’ family in hopes of giving them some encouragement. I came home from running errands this day and my phone rang from an unknown number…usually I do not pick up when I get these calls, but I decided to. On the other end was Blake’s dad, Peter. Now here’s the kicker…Peter and I met last year at the “Children’s Fight for Life” event where he spoke with me about his mom and her very long battle with cancer and her strong will to stay positive and never give up. That night we promised to continue our conversation at another time, but with lost numbers and months passing, it didn’t happen. Now here I am, speaking to the father of Blake, and it is the same man who I met last year. Small world. He never thought in a million years that we would be connecting again because his son was diagnosed with cancer but the harsh reality still stands…it can happen to anyone. Please log in and follow Blake and his journey. He is a very strong man but can always use extra words of encouragement and prayers…http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/blakewolfson
Today Nikki and I had planned on cashing in the spa day that Zac bought me for my birthday. I hadn’t had a massage in years and it was about time that we had a bit of relaxation in our lives. Everything was going great and I was escorted back in to the room that I was supposed to be getting my massage in and started chatting with the massage therapist. She was explaining to me how they have a tradition there…they had a small woven basket that hung by the door with tassels hanging from them. She explained that if you had any burdens or stress, to take a tassel and put it in the basket. She will then put it outside to the door…before she even finished what she was saying, I was standing there with tears welling up in my eyes. What in the world is wrong with me?!? I am standing here in what is supposed to be very relaxing moment and starting to cry…perfect. I explained to the very nice woman that I am so sorry but my son had been through hell and back with cancer treatment and now he is considered cancer free but I cannot help but feel the stress of it still remain. I told her how he still has to has scans and it is beyond scary to live out every day with the small wonder in the back of your head…Is it ever coming back? She asked what kind of cancer and I told her Neuroblastoma. She then took a step back and told me that her close friends granddaughter had NB and was being treated at PCH. It was one of those moments when you just sit there unsure of what to say next. Regardless, I had a great message and for that 50 minutes, I left my worries on the other side of the door knowing that there was someone else there who knew what I was feeling.
Nikki and I chatted a lot today and we talked about the Children’s Miracle Network and Lydia…she works for CMN and we met her when Jack and I did the Wal Mart event with Adrian Wilson. I haven’t talked with her since the event but I thought I would contact her soon…I got home from the day out with Nikki and about 30 minutes later, the phone rings from a PCH number. I pick up to a voice on the other end, “Hi! This is Lydia and I am with the Children’s Miracle Network, your number was picked from the Gimme $5 for PCH that you texted in for…..” I asked Lydia if she knew who she as talking to and she said she didn’t because they don’t give her names so I told her who I was…she was shocked! She was calling me to tell me I was going to be sent a $25 gift card to Walgreens as one of the Gimme $5 drawings that they do. Who would have figured that they would draw my number. Anyway, we chatted and talked about a lot of things…for instance, how in the world has America raised over $650,000 for a vacation for Karen Klein (the busdriver who was so wrongly bullied) in just a short 24 hour period and we have to literally beg people to donate for cancer research. This just doesn’t make sense to me. This innocent woman should have never been treated so badly by the kids on the bus…ever. I get that. How in the world could so much money be put up in such a short time period while I could sit her and go on every single day time show and might not get that response at all. Sorry, doesn’t make sense. Anyway, we threw some ideas around and who knows…maybe a video will go viral soon and we can make a major difference for the cancer community!
We told Lydia that we wanted to give back the $25 gift card and just put it back in to the fund for the Children’s Miracle Network. It’s the least we can do…If you want to help the Children’s Miracle Network, please text HAND to 50555 and $5 will be donated to Phoenix Children’s Hospital!!
I am sure you are wondering when I am going to get to my point, so here we go…I have said before and I will continue to say it, I do not believe everything happens for a reason. I just don’t. I do believe that people come in your life for a reason just as some leave your life for a reason. I know that Peter, the wonderful massage therapist, and Lydia are people who have come in to my life for a reason even if it is just a short meeting. There are times when we need to meet these people or hear from them just to know that we are doing what we are meant to do. Does that make sense at all, or I am totally just rambling??!!
So while I will have those days, those small moments, when someone will try and question me, I can think back on these few instances that bring me back to where I belong. I know who I am and I know what I stand for. Not only that, I feel great comfort in knowing my family, friends, and supporters of this Foundation will always lift me up when I feel defeated. The cancer world is a tough world to live in. I am not speaking of the times when we are watching our babies go through hell, but I am talking about he part when we want to stand up and do something about it. It’s hard. It’s complicated. You will be pushed around, knocked down, questioned, and told no. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. The only think you can do is continue to push through. Push through the negativity. Push through the nasty comments…there are only a few, but they still sting. I now realize that you cannot educate the ignorant so instead I will try my best to put them in their place as I pass them by.
Listen, this is not a world I ever wanted to be a part of simply because I had no idea that it really even existed. I never know how many children were diagnosed with cancer each year and I had no idea how little funding they received. I never wanted to be a parent that was fighting tooth and nail to get their child through to the next day and now fighting for awareness and research funding. I never wanted to pass up my youngest child growing up because my older son needed me more. I never wanted to have friends come and go, some are in for the long haul and some aren’t. I never wanted to meet the wonderful people I have because of the one thing we have in common…our children were diagnosed with cancer. I never wanted to have people walk out of my life because it was too complicated or because there were too many rules for them. All in all, Jack didn’t chose to be put through hell. He didn’t want to answer the door when the Devil knocked but we didn’t have a choice. So we fought back and we are here. Jack is doing amazingly well, Braden is a very normal and loving 2 year old, Zac is an amazing father and still my rock, and I am here. Fighting and won’t stop because I can’t, and frankly I don’t want to.
I am now going to lay down with my kids and get off my soap box!