This I Believe

Susan - Fairfax, Virginia
Entered on July 10, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe in the power of “WE”. I have always believed in the power of community, but too often, we get caught up in the business of modern life and lose track of the importance of human touch, caring, and support.

My son was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma on his tenth birthday. For the past four years, we have met people who have enriched and benefited our lives in a variety of ways we never could have imagined. I’ve always been a “lemonade out of lemons” sort of person, but I was not prepared for the roller coaster ride that accompanied his diagnosis, treatment, relapse, more treatment, and final recovery. I was even more surprised by our new community. The folks who fought, played, and celebrated with us helped me to learn about the power of “WE”. “WE” is a community that can make miracles happen. “WE” is a force that is even stronger than a Mom on a mission.

As I was trying to think of a gift to give to the oncology practice to celebrate my son’s final chemotherapy treatment, I heard an NPR story about another mother who challenged convention to help her special needs son achieve what many of us consider a normal life achievement. I had felt the warmth and energy of the power of “WE”, but I had not been able to put it into words until this NPR moment. I sat down and wrote my first poem in many years to thank everyone who is part of my “WE” community.

I am Relentless.

I am a Cancer Mom.

I am more than just a single soul —

I am now a conglomeration of the people

I meet along this tangled life journey.

The journey is not a lonely walk –

Though some days it seems that way

The chaos and confusion of the path as

We search for diagnosis and treatment.

The brambles of HIPAA, weaving a medical web –

Your child’s pain —

The diagnosis – sucker punch – and I became We.

We are the team who will together push as far and as hard as we can.

We are parents who will cry, who will scold, who will demand excellence.

We are docs and nurses and techs and Child Life and social workers who truly care.

We are cheerleaders.

We are hope.

We are stronger than we ever imagined.

We will succeed.