Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Surviving childhood cancer

During today’s workout, enjoying the “let’s-all-get-a-haircut-together” atmosphere, I overheard two women discussing childhood cancer. One woman’s daughter had been diagnosed as a young child, the other woman’s son as an infant. Both children survived and have families of their own.

Progressing through our circuit—which is set up in close quarters, so I wasn’t intentionally eavesdropping…truly—the conversation became almost competitive. One child’s cancer journey provided much of the current knowledge regarding her specific cancer. As her mother proudly announced this fact, the other mom quickly stated that her son had undergone experimental procedures also, providing helpful medical knowledge regarding his cancer.

I found myself thinking, “What a strange thing to make a point about.” Then I realized, maybe that was the point. Maybe when you’ve been through something so terrible regarding your child’s life, you need justification for yourself and the world. Justification that something good came from the fear, worry, pain, anger. Knowing your child beat the odds and helped others must provide a sense of power over a disease that made you feel powerless.

My heart went out to these women—I morphed from inwardly smiling about their competition to applauding their inner strength. I was humbled by the journey they’d struggled through and honored to overhear their tales of triumph.

Staying in shape and learning life lessons at the same time...who knew working out was so good for the soul?

1 comment:

tournesol said...

I guess that is so true, I have children and thank God they have not had cancer, but when bad things happen you do tend to look to find not really a reason, but something like that to make it better, make it easier or something.