Elephants and Tea - December 2019 - 35

NEW OUTLOOK

Dear Cancer...

Dear Cancer,

Dear Cancer,

I know we just met in person recently when my son was diagnosed
with ALL last March, but I feel like I've known you all my life. You
have touched so many of my family and friends throughout the years
and I just wanted to thank you for coming into my son's life. You have
no idea the impact you have made on him and our family and all that
has happened since you suddenly appeared 7 months ago.
First, I want to thank you for showing us true gratitude. To
realize that tomorrow is never promised to anyone, and saying
thank you every morning for the gift of today is the best way to
start each and every day.
Thank you also for leading us to the best team of doctors, nurses
and support groups in Cleveland Ohio, so that my son could be
treated and cared for so incredibly well. He never feels alone or
neglected or misinformed, and he welcomes each appointment
and clinic visit as if he was going to a social event. Truly amazing
people that we never would have met without meeting you first.
You have also shown me what real strength is and how incredibly tough my son is. His stamina and endurance are motivating
and inspiring to all he knows and meets. I read this somewhere
so I can't take credit for it, but he really puts the Can in cancer!
Never complains, ever! You ask him how he's doing, and he replies, "I'm Awesome," with a huge smile. He plans something to
do every day with his friends or his family. He works harder than
he ever has on schoolwork as he's trying to finish up his first year
of college remotely, since his last semester was put on hold abruptly in March. He lifts weights and does 200+ pushups every day,
working on strengthening his body for the hard weeks of chemo
ahead...He has even ran in two 5Ks recently to raise money for
families touched by you.
The blessings and all of the beautiful moments I have had with
my son are countless since you came into our lives. Our family is
closer than it's ever been and has been touched by more love than
we could have ever imagined:
Cards and phone calls, homemade meals, gift cards to restaurants and stores; t-shirts, sweat shirts and wristbands; fundraisers, Nike shoes (he got to design his own pair!), photo shoot with
Flashes of Hope, art therapy and the gift of digital art tablet, sketch
pads and pencils; music therapy and guitar lessons and an old
guitar from his grandma; the long car rides in rush hour traffic to
and from chemo treatments, sharing favorite songs and YouTube
videos; the long talks, the laughs, the tears, the hugs, the hand
holding, the sleep overs in the hospital, cooking together; throwing
out first pitch at an Indians game (and having Cookie Carrasco
catch it!); carrying a white lantern with other patients and survivors in the Leukemia Lymphoma Society Light the Night Walk....
I can hear the music like at the Academy Awards telling me to
wrap things up because I'm taking too long with my thank you's,
but I don't want to forget to say how grateful I am to cancer, for
being able to experience everything I have with my son in the
last 7 months that I never would have been able to had you not
come into our lives. Watching God work through him, touching
so many people's lives, including mine, I will be forever grateful.

I beat you. You tried kicking me
down multiple times, but I beat you...
my husband beat you, my kids beat
you, my family beat you, my friends
beat you.
You see, when I was too weak to
hold my head up, my family and
friends surrounded me and protected
me from you. They gave me strength
to live while you were trying to make
other plans for me. You put a label on
my forehead... and I HATE labels. You
made me into a person I didn't like... a person who was angry at the world. I
didn't know how to trust, I didn't know how to fight, I felt weak... I was weak.
You took away the time I was supposed to be a mom to my beautiful
children. Time that I should have been spending with family. Time that I
should have been present, but instead you occupied every second of my life.
You stole precious time from me that I will never get back. You played mind
games. You made me feel as though I was alone, but really, I was surrounded by people who held my hand during my fight with you, and people who
were fighting for me.
You hated to see me keep knocking down the walls you were quickly trying to build in front of me to stop me from living my life. You hated to see
me get back up on my own two feet after pushing me down over and over
again, just like the bully you are. We may have beaten you, but you still come
around with your dark cloud hovering over my head. I feel you breathing
down my neck during my checkups, and sometimes you even pop out of
nowhere while I'm driving.
You make me feel anxious, scared, nervous. You make me cry and wonder "what if." You remind me that you can still take away everything I have
with the three familiar words "You have cancer." But you also remind me
how strong I can be when I want to be. You remind me to slow down and
be thankful, to take deep breaths, to smile, and to remember how precious
life really is. Even though your dark cloud will forever hover over me, my
anger towards you is slowly going away, and I want to say thank you. Thank
you for not taking me away from my family.
Thank you for teaching me about the simplest things in life. Lastly, thank
you for teaching me to slow down and breathe.
Thank you.
K A R E N C OS TA

A NON Y MOUS

ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM
DECEMBER 2019

35


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Elephants and Tea - December 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Elephants and Tea - December 2019

Contents
Elephants and Tea - December 2019 - Cover1
Elephants and Tea - December 2019 - Cover2
Elephants and Tea - December 2019 - 1
Elephants and Tea - December 2019 - Contents
Elephants and Tea - December 2019 - 3
Elephants and Tea - December 2019 - 4
Elephants and Tea - December 2019 - 5
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Elephants and Tea - December 2019 - Cover3
Elephants and Tea - December 2019 - Cover4
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