I have had many of you say to me that I do not talk about my struggle with this disease enough on my blog. I do want to keep everyone informed, but I have enjoyed using my writings as an outlet. I guess in a way it is still hard for me to realize that I have cancer. Yesterday Mrs. Jones, a fellow math teacher, called me to her room to hand me a Relay For Life form. In my mind, I was already thinking how neat it would be to walk and participate, and then I realized that the form was for a cancer survivor. Reality..................I have cancer!
Why cancer? Why me? Instead of training and running to raise funds for others, I am the person with the disease.
What are the struggles? Some mornings, simply getting out of bed. Some days, failing to smile at others when the pain is intense. Some evenings, letting Chris rub my hands and feet because of the neuropathy that numbs,burns and stings. Some mornings, waking up at 2:30 a.m. when sleep is not an option. Some days, the chemotherapy makes me sick and I ache. Even through these struggles, I want to SMILE!
Reality of cancer is everywhere, but I choose to ignore it. Life is a vapor, and I choose to smile. I will let my daughter, Callie, share her feelings about a poem, Smile, that she read for her English class. This is her paper explaining why she chose the poem, Smile.
When I first spotted this poem, the only reason I really enjoyed it is was because it was so short. But as I read it over and over in the day, the meaning began to crawl out. I relate the word sunshine in the poem to time. Nothing big or fancy, just simply, time. It's a word that doesn't scare me by its meaning, but by not getting enough of it. I always dwell on having 3 long and boring more years of high school, and then right after that, 4 or more years of college! But I'm not so sure anyone stops to think about how quickly time slips away, not just by getting older, but by nagging about all the time. It's ironic really when in all honesty, we should be celebrating the fact that we have more time with our best friends, we have more time with our favorite sports, or in this case, I have more time with my father who has cancer. Time is a scary thing that people continue to take for granted. For others, time may be replaced with a certain object or a certain someone, but my time has been replaced by a cancer. It's a cancer that has a mind of its own. It's a cancer that has a ticking clock that can go off at any moment. It's a cancer that has its own time. So this poem opened my eyes to smile while time still hangs delicately in the air. So I say smile while you still can, smile while American Idol booms from your speakers, smile while it's your birthday, and smile while your father still lives! Don't wake up wishing you would have smiled a little more than the day before.
Smile, my sunshine,
for I am smiling, too.
All the while
that I've got you,
smile, my sunshine,