This I Believe

Sally - Seattle, Washington
Entered on October 5, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65

This I Don’t Believe

I don’t believe that things are random,

I don’t believe that there is a greater plan than I can comprehend,

I don’t believe that things don’t happen for a reason,

I don’t believe that we are faced with challenges great then we can manage,

I don’t believe that in disasters we are alone,

I don’t believe in regrets,

I don’t believe anymore in wishing for tomorrow or lots of tomorrows.

I do believe each and every moment of each day is a blessing and a miracle.

On a normal visit to the eye doctor, my 11-year-old child’s eyes revealed a serious problem. She had swollen optic nerves. It took almost two month, a family doctor, a retinal specialist, a neuo-opthomologist, two neuo surgeons, a CAT scan, two MRI’s, a Bone Scan and an upset stomach to discover her Acute Lymphocystic Leukemia. We entered Cancer World on August 13, 2004.

In a moment our lives changed. She faced certain death without treatment and unending suffering, life long side affects and future cancers with it. I faced the reality of losing my only child. We did not have even a moment to think about our options. In Cancer World, you march forward fearlessly and with haste. We all faced what seemed like an endless challenge. Two and half years of treatment, hundreds of doses of chemo therapy, 12 doses of brain killing radiation, hours of waiting, weeks in the hospital and more worry than one can imagine.

But I found that it was do-able from some unknown source, a new and oddly calm strength surfaced. An ability to absorb large and lasting amounts of information arrived as the was began and the campaigns began. Notebooks were created, roadmaps produced, drugs and supplies were acquired. Friends, neighbors and strangers delivered food and wine and endless words of encouragement. Punjab’s were performed by swamis; healing ceremonies were conducted by Navaho Medicine Men; Masses and prayers commenced. Out of no where everything we needed and things we didn’t know we needed came our way.

After months and years of unending side-affects, trips to the emergency rooms and almost phobic fear of germs, it came to an end. The storm had passed and we started the journey back to our “Normal” lives. A place we can never return but a place we can fondly remember.

Our passage through Cancer World taught us many many things. We learned how to receive. We learned that a perfect stranger can be your friend with a smile. We learned to laugh at everything. Life is too short not to. We learned that control is a myth. We learned to appreciate the good moments; the nano seconds and not worry about next week or next year or even this evening. We learned that a moment is a treasure. One that we must be valued and honored and cherished.