My dear friend Dawn has been battling an unknown illness the last several years. We met in college in what seems like yesterday. Two years ago, she and her little boy Jack opened their home to Taylor and I for a night on our 2800 mile drive moving from Chicago to San Francisco. Only recently did she find out that her immune system is attacking her neurological system. It’s not easy on her or her family, to say the least; and yet, she remains a source of inspiration for her family and her friends. To me, she is the embodiment of what my blog is all about, that despite it all, even in the hardest of circumstances, you can choose to look at your life with the glass half-full. I admire that about her. I think of Jack, who every day gets to witness his mother’s strength despite her apparent pain. And I’ve been told of how supportive her mother’s been through all of this. Three people – a grandmother, two mothers, a daughter and a son – all being supportive and a source for inspiration for each other. Dawn shared with me these words, which I share with you.
As with family and friends in your lives that want and need love and support, please say a prayer for my friend Dawn and her family, as well.
Blessing or a Curse…..it’s easy to become sad and frustrated, feel like you are cursed, when you find yourself with a challenging illness. The blessings are not as obvious, but even more plentiful. Yesterday during my treatment was one of those days. I have my infusion with many individuals fighting cancer. Some of them I have seen each of the past three times I have had my infusion. One patient brought donuts for the staff. Another brought Valentine’s day treats. He is confined to a wheelchair, no use of legs and minimal of arms, but has the biggest smile and heart. At Christmas, he brought in a dancing santa that gave us all a good chuckle. I made another friend, a man who just started his chemo and radiation for lung cancer. His optimism, smile, spirit was contagious. He sat across from me for his chemo after he had radiation in the morning. He’s a father, grandfather, and great grandfather. His daughter works in the school district in special ed too. I got to meet her, talk a little shop, and see pics of his family. We gave each other a big hug when it was time for me to go home….hoping I will see him again. It’s too bad that where we will see each other is in the infusion center, IV’s in our arms. But what a gift yesterday was. I don’t know if my IVIg is going to work. It hasn’t yet. However, being with these people (patients and care givers as the people at renown infusion are AMAZING)…..you can’t help but stay optimistic and just appreciate life’s most precious gift. People. xoxo
It was special yesterday. Now that I’ve gone three times….you see familiar faces. They are SO KIND in the infusion center. Just the sweetest people with perfect bedside manner. Every nurse I have had has been amazing. As I was waiting to get checked in, I started talking to the man who was going to be coming back later after he had radiation in the morning. I told him to find me and come say hi. When he came back, he sat across from me for a couple hours. I learned he has lung cancer. He had just started chemo on Thursday. His daughter came by to see him and I learned that she works in special education in the school district too. I got to see pics of his grandchildren and great grandchildren. Learned about his family, his cancer, and most of all……learned about him and his amazing attitude in facing a sickness he knows he will die from. He told me that the chemo and radiation will pro long and allow him to live his life, not save his life. He was one of the bright spots in my day for sure. Gave him a big hug when I left and told him I am going to check up on him through his daughter….got her email through work:-). Hopefully I will see him next time I am there. This other patient, named Francisco, has been there each time I have. He is a frequent visitor from what I can tell. He came with a bag of goodies on his lap to celebrate Valentine’s Day. It was so cute. He is confined to a very complicated wheelchair. His son transports him, helps him as his mobility is extremely limited. And Francisco has just this huge smile on his face, says hi to everyone, every time. He warms your heart just with his smile. Another gift yesterday. It’s unfortunate that the way we have to meet is in a place where we need needles and drugs pushed into our veins….however it is amazing how much comfort you can get from being around strangers who just get it and comfort you with the existence/presence.
Go Adventure. Go Travel. Go Live.
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