Audrey’s Hepburn’s famous pink quote inspired me to write the following:
I believe in all the colors of the rainbow. I believe laughter is the best medicine for the soul. I believe in hugging, hugging a lot. I believe that although people may seem weak in the moment, that’s when they’re gathering their energy together to be strong later. I believe that while being happy in this world may take time and work, in the end it will be worth it. I believe every moment counts. And I believe, too, that tomorrow is another chance, and that we shouldn’t waste it. And in miracles… I believe in miracles and God and angels. I believe in magic. And I believe that anything’s possible if I just believe it is.
For as much heartbreak as this world has, it also carries hope. There’s hope in the sunrise in each new day, and hope in every sunset. There’s hope behind every smile and every loving act. Hope is what lets us continue on, even after our hearts are broken and battered. And then there are the people who give us hope… like the high school girl named Angela Zhang who came up with a possible cancer cure. Her idea eradicated tumors in mice, but it will take years to know if it will work on tumors in humans. Like the article that was written about Angela says, “[There's] no need to worry about the future… it’s in good hands.”
There was this one quote from Grey’s Anatomy’s neuroblastoma storyline this week that touched my heart. Maybe because, regarding childhood cancer, it is so true:
This is not general surgery on a miniature scale. These are the tiny humans. These are children. They believe in magic. They play pretend. There is fairy dust in their IV bags. They hope, and they cross their fingers, and they make wishes, and that makes them more resilient than adults. They recover faster, survive worse. They believe.
Children believe in magic, yes they do. All I have to do is look at my own niece for that. She’s going to be three next month. When I talk to her and play with her and color with her, she always ends up giving me some of her magic. This is what the bald Barbie movement is really about – giving magic back to children who are sick and suffering. It may be just a toy to some, but I just know it will mean the world to these children to have a role model who looks just like them. And true, this would be a childhood cancer awareness product, and on the box, there would be a gold ribbon. Part of the reason Mattel is balking at making the doll is because part of the proceeds will have to go to St. Jude’s or CureSearch (by the way, please donate to one of those places if you are thinking about making a donation. There are lots of other charities that give all their donations to research, but please, please, please do your own research and find out what your donation is being used for – if it isn’t ALL going towards research or the care of a little cancer patient, look elsewhere). This bald Barbie would be the beginning of the childhood cancer awareness empire.
And the first part of the above quote – “this is not general surgery on a miniature scale” – speaks so much truth for such little words. Children are given scaled-down adult chemotherapy drugs, and that is why the side effects of these drugs are so bad in these children: blindness, hearing loss, stunted growth, dead nerves, etc. What happened to me wasn’t – and still isn’t – the norm, but it wasn’t in the least bit surprising. They did not know what they were doing back then, and they still don’t. That is the main thing that has to change before anything else can.
I know I’ve let myself be sidetracked this week, and didn’t do a gratitude list, so really quickly, here is what I am grateful for:
1) I am grateful that my cousin Carol and her husband BJ had a healthy baby girl on Sunday. Rory Gale is adorable and I cannot wait to see more pictures of her.
2) I am actually grateful for Andrew Becker and his ignorant blog post earlier this week because it strengthened the resolve of the childhood cancer awareness groups. It also got childhood cancer stories in the news! It’s just the beginning.
3) I never thought I’d say this, but this year, I find myself feeling grateful for the snowmaggedon (my uncle Cary’s word for it) we had here this past week. It makes the house seem more cozy, and I don’t have any desire whatsoever to get out of the house. And I am grateful for the fact that I don’t have to.