When you hear about a child or teen diagnosed with cancer your first thoughts are shock, fear, and disbelief. I too felt that way, but have found that what Nick gave us is priceless and will stay with us forever.
Sense of humor–Even while ill, Nick would entertain us with his very accurate and funny George Bush impersonation. When he came out of anesthesia, he would crack jokes with the nurses. We always watched funny movies. In the face of the hardest adversity, laugher brings us together.
Perseverance–A teen understands and knows what will happen during the next round of chemo. They know they will lose their hair, vomit, get mouth sores or be too weak to do what they love. But they do it. They persist in the dream to be cancer free. Nick persevered even when the cancer was winning. He did whatever it took to make it to the next round of treatment and sometimes to the next day. Whenever I challenge myself, I think of Nick and all he went through. I push myself, because he did. NEVER GIVE UP!
Courage–Fighting cancer is like a war. Every soldier has to find that courage deep within to enter the battlefield. Pediatric cancer patients are some of the bravest people I know. Even though I was with Nick just about every day of his illness, I couldn’t fully appreciate his fears or what he was going through. His brave attitude throughout treatment showed his inner strength. Through pain and fear, dig deep and find that courage within you.
Sense of humor, Perseverance, Courage: Characteristics that can help us in any area of our life, but it usually takes adversity, illness or tragedy to bring them forth. Nick and so many other young cancer patients give us these gifts every day.
I hope you will share your stories of how humor, perseverance and courage helped you or your child through a cancer journey.
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