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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Superheroes

I can't say that I ever had a favorite superhero as a child, but I certainly do as an adult: My hero is my best friend, my husband, Craig. You see, for one year, Craig has battled that epidemic of a disease, cancer, like so many others both young and old. His diagnosis came as a complete surprise as he was pretty health conscious and well-read on carcinogens. Heck, he wouldn't even use regular deodorant because it had zinc, a cancer-causing ingredient.  And forget diet and low-fat products, because of their deadly aspartame. He knew all the foods and products that caused cancer.

But, what he didn't know was LIFE causes cancer.  Cancer has no prejudices or concerns over one's eating style, let alone their lifestyle, income, race, religion or ethics. When cancer comes knocking on your door, it is there to stay for a while, or maybe longer, and you better just embrace it.

And, that is just what my great hero did! From the beginning of his illness his eternal optimism inspired many. He had lived for years with the mantra, "Believe," but this was the real test. Does he really believe? Even with this harsh prognosis? Yep, he still believed! When the doctor showed him his bone scan laden with cancer, he heard the mention of arthritis in one area and decided that was all he had...all over his body..including his cranium? Arthritis? Oh, my eternal optimist was at it again.

He believed he would get through this ordeal. He believed he would be cured. He believed God still had more for him to do here on Earth. So, he continued to plow forward with a positive, faithful approach. An outpour of love, support and prayers came from friends and strangers from everywhere. He believed.

He believed even when  the doctors from the two largest and very well-known cancer hospitals here in Cleveland said they couldn't do much for him, but basically keep him comfortable. He believed despite chemo not even being an option because it was too far advanced. He believed despite them  giving him a few radiations solely to keep him from becoming paralyzed by the cancer that had broken his spine in several areas. He just kept on believing.

He prayed.
He met with his  dear friend, our pastor, many times.
He believed
He remained positive.
He stayed optimistic.

And then a program from Panama kinda just fell in his hands. Thank you, God. The doctors there assessed his test results, diagnosis and prognosis and gave him a 97% of FULL RECOVERY. Not remission. Recovery.

He believed.
He began the treatment in April, five months after his diagnosis.
He had to change his lifestyle and diet to accommodate the medication. It was a BIG life change.
He believed.
He got stronger.
He got healthier.
He looked better and better.
He continued to believe.

Today marks one year from that cold, dark night that he was sent to the hospital immediately after an MRI showed his doctor something very serious. It has been one year since he was bed-ridden and unable to walk or sit without great support and help. He believed.

He recently had his 9th treatment from Panama.  He believes.
No complaints ever. No doubts.
My hero has emulated and lived the mantra, "Believe!" He has been a role model to so many throughout his journey. He has inspired the healthy and the sick....because, he believes.

It took me 40+ years to ever have a hero in my life. It was well worth the wait. "Cancerman" Believes.

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