To everyone who’s made this awful illness easier to bear,
Just for today I want to share with you something you may or may not know. Cancer battlers are in different fraternities depending on which cancer they’re battling — and each fraternity has its own personality. The breast cancer group, for example, is full of women are perky and fun. They welcome new members with open arms. The brain tumor group, on the other hand, tend to be a little full of themselves. In order to enter into this society of know-it-alls you’ve got to meet certain initiation requirements. To start, you need to spend some time on the operating table. The brain cancer group like to brag about how many hours of surgical intervention we have to put up with, and they don’t want any slackers.
Another requirement is that you have to put up with making your brain a toxic place for tumors to hide out in. The message to the tumor is a simple one: “Leave!”
I’ve been reading CIA reports about creating a hostile environment for cancer. One report suggested that Rock and Roll music might be good at driving the stuff away. Much as my husband and daughter would like to keep the house shaking to Incubus, the Pentatonix and the Killers, ‘Quiet’ has become my very favorite kind of music.
Perhaps two years of faithful viewership to ‘Jersylicious’ helped fuel the tumor’s desire to leave. On the other hand, ‘Jersylicious’ might be the perfect environment for growing tumors. We’ll have to put that one under investigation.
The most important initiation requirement is gratitude. Having a brain cancer would certainly make you one grumpy dude or dudette if you can’t find reasons to be grateful. You’re not a full member of the fraternity until you can count your blessings to a million.
So, lets start:
#1 — of one million) I am so grateful for my wonderful husband, for the way he writes posts that make me seem way better than I really am, and the way he puts words together to provide love and hope to the people we really care about. Paul, you’ve put your bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing to good use.
#2 — of one million) I woke up this morning next to the most precious human being in the world, my darling daughter. How can someone be so lucky as to have a daughter as beautiful, kind, talented, funny and loving as I have? Angelique, you are the joy of my life.
#3 — of one million) The minute I was born I had a best friend. She was three months older, but I was her aunt (go figure). She’s one of the few people in the world who can make you laugh so hard that you cry — laughing over something too silly for anyone else in the world to appreciate. I used to be jealous that her birthday was before mine, but now that we’re ‘of a certain age’ I get to use the time between March and May to torment her for being an old lady. Karla, you do all right for an old biddy!
#4, #5, #6 and #7 — of one million) I’m also grateful to have a ‘pretend’ little sister. She’s given me the opportunity to make me enormously proud of all the wonderful and creative things she does. I am especially grateful for this: She is one of the few who truly understand the five important things in life: a) A good chicken soup has carrots and celery bits that are all cut the same size, b) Fritatas must be served cold on a slice of warm Scali bread, c) The best ice cream sodas are made at home — with enough ginger ale to make a refreshing treat, and enough chocolate chip ice cream on the bottom to be a dessert on its own, d) Always choose the beach over a lake — actually, always choose the beach over anything, e) Life is way cooler when you live in Cambridge. Stephanie, people would know you were the bomb even if you didn’t keep reminding them.
#8 — of one million) For all the wonderful, wonderful, wonderful people who have sent over home cooked meals. Thank you Peters’, Keebler-Coakley’s, Hylton’s, Linquist’s, and Griffen’s!
Well, I don’t have time to write down all of the million — but all the million are in my heart.
Love, Love, Love