17
Jun

Nothing short of awesome

I just got home from an absolutely lovely evening. To the average Dick or Jane, that might mean dinner with friends, or a movie, or a romantic night out. But I’m Duper, and in my world a reception to celebrate National Cancer Survivors Day counts as nothing short of awesome.

To be honest, I never knew there was such a day (the first Sunday in June, which was June 1 this year), though given there’s a National Multiple Births Awareness Day (May 28) and a Weedless Wednesday (last Wednesday in January — ok, it’s in Canada), I can’t say I’m surprised. But no matter my ignorance of its existence, or the sheer number of commemorative days nationwide and around the world, I was very happy to have attended Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s gathering marking a day intended to “show the world that life after a cancer diagnosis can be meaningful and productive.”

I discovered I had cancer when I was 15. A lady in a van helped me. I was cruising on my bike through the streets of Pasadena on a hot summer afternoon when the van suddenly appeared. She was coming from the opposite direction. She initiated a hard-left turn in front of me and saw me only when it was too late. The force of my bicycle impacting her vehicle (and the reverse!) exploded my bike frame, and after smacking her windshield I flew backward ten feet and landed on my head. That brought on several weeks of seizures and ultimately, after my mother refused to leave the neurologist’s office until he did something, a CT scan which revealed a brain tumor that had apparently been growing since I was a kid. It was out a week later, but it proved to be a grade III+/IV- astrocytoma. Bring on the radiation, they said, and a couple years of chemotherapy to boot. In the end, something worked, and that’s why they must have created the National Cancer Survivors Day for me.

If, in coming years, Memorial Sloan-Kettering limits this evening celebration to people living with cancer, I hope to never see you there. I mean, I hope you never qualify. But if circumstances are such that you do, then I hope you’ll realize how awesome beating cancer can be.

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comments

2
  1. June 21st, 2010 | Mulk aka JCocker says:

    First of all, thanks for the nod to Canada, even though I can’t figure out why we have a weedless day in the middle of winter. We’re not quite right are we?!
    As for National Cancer Survivors Day, it sounds cool and I have met a great number of incredible people down there in the States that I hope celebrated that with an extra large uproar. You guys really do motivate me.
    As for Duper – how many stages did we go through to get you that name?!!
    Take pride, this is my first ever contribution to a blog, twitter, facebook, or whatever the hell else the kids are doing these days.
    Love ya babe. Take care.

  2. June 21st, 2010 | Duper says:

    Um, no comment on Canadian national commemorative days. On my name, this is what I recall: Dread Pirate Roberts -> D.P.R. -> Doopster -> Duper -> Super Duper -> (and back to Duper).

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