Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Why Not My Child

Not long ago, after a beautiful day of playing in the park with my healthy family I got a somewhat panicked call from a friend. At the time we were just getting to know each other, we both had children in the same class at school, and really all I knew about her is that she is gorgeous, her husband is a talented musician, all four of her children are beautiful, and that she had just found out that one of her twin sons had cancer.

I believe all she knew about me is that I always have a camera on my face. I am not a professional photographer. But desperate times call for desperate measures. She was calling me to ask if I would please drop everything, come to her house -- directly -- and photograph her family because her son was loosing his hair. It was that day. The day all patients with cancer dread, the first day it all falls out.

With all the struggles that cancer warriors face, the hair seems trivial. The diagnosis, the treatments, the uncertain fate, the ... well, actually when I start thinking about it, it is so upsetting I can hardly breathe. But I have never met a cancer warrior or survivor who has not made some profound reflection about loosing their hair all on one day. In essence, to the outside world one day they look healthy, and the next they appear every bit as sick as they must feel. Which for many is the first day the people around them show their own fears.
Of course I raced to this family's house. Of course I tried my best. Of course they tried their best. Of course the pictures were horrible. Of course every time I went to brush something off his face I realized it was his hair and trembled as I tried to act like I wasn't brushing away more hair.

That day -- so early in their battle -- Kim, the mother, said to me, "I just look at him and I think, why not my child? His odds are his odds. But who is to say he won't be counted among the percentage to fight and win."

During their fight Kim was the most extraordinary medical consumer. She got in there and asked questions and asked for more. Accepting pain and accepting the way the treatment made her son feel was not OK with her. She wanted more for him. She wanted to help him. And she did. This is her story, told in her words. Please go watch. Then tell other people to watch.


And would you believe she was right?!?!? He's in remission. And why not?


Glenda said...

You are an angel of a friend.

laurel said...

That is so sweet. Hope everything keeps going well.