Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Something beautiful...

I've been waiting to post this. My shingles still hurt, although they aren't getting worse. I'm still tired, my shoulder hurts, yadda yadda. I'm getting blood work done next Monday with Dr. GD, here in Los Angeles, who knows both BB and SF well and who will be my primary maintenance therapy guy.

That, of course, wasn't the meat of the post -- I just figured I should provide an update.

No, the meat of the post is found on a scrap of paper that has been in my wallet since March.

I mentioned very early on that I hired a company called PinnacleCare to be a "health care advocate" for me. Essentially they have a team of nurses, doctors and researchers that do everything from attend appointments to schedule appointment to move medical records back and forth to do research, etc. They've been very helpful with all that, and they continue to assist me.

However the most meaningful thing they did was something I didn't hire them for.

When I was in the hospital in March, much sicker than I realized and ultimately with four broken vertebrae in my back, I received a care package from them. Among the articles was a T-shirt ("Cancer Sucks", it reads), some inspirational and humorous little books, some candy, etc. I also received a CD of soothing music with a note from one of the PinnacleCare people that said her son used to listen to that CD when he was undergoing treatment for leukemia. Her son is now 13, healthy, and dreams of one day being an oncologist.

Beautiful stuff, right?

But the most beautiful thing of all is on this scrap of paper.

When it was sent to me, I was really out of it on Dilaudid. I don't even really recall putting it in my wallet, and I only barely remember reading it when I originally received it. In fact, I'm only guessing it was from PinnacleCare -- it could have come from a nurse in the clinic. In any case, I read it and folded it up, and put it in my wallet, and forgot about it until recently, when I found it again.

It's handwritten, and it looks like it was written by a young girl, probably a few years older than Parker but no more than 12 or 13. Typing it in here now, it moves me to tears.

There are two poems and a note, handwritten.


A word can be
Powerful or
The word cancer rings in my ears.
A word, a word, who would of [sic] thought,
the word cancer could be so
devastating to hear, but me and my
Cancer, a word I thought never would
happen in my life.
But it did
Cancer, a word so powerful, harmful and sad.
But I can overcome the word cancer.
I am strong.
I am stronger than that one word.
So is my dad.
I am strong for my dad.
He will overcome that word.
Cancer, just a word.

Well...I'm sobbing now. I don't know who wrote this, or how it was passed to me, but I know I will treasure it above almost everything else I have. I shall fold it up dutifully, and return it to my wallet for the time being, until I can find a better place for it.

Thank you, whomever wrote this, and whomever sent it to me...and God bless you and your family, wherever you are.


  1. Beautiful Nick! There are many blessings in this horrible journey. It keeps me going! Lori

  2. You aren't the only one moved to tears by the kindness given by that stranger, whoever they may have been. There's plenty of ugliness in the world, but also beauty, love, and kindness, and it's nice to get a reminder.

    As always, Nick...thanks for sharing, and keep up the good work on the recovery!! :-)

    Best always,