My exposure to cancer was when my grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was in the 4th grade. My understanding of it didn’t progress past knowing that my Mom had to drive her Mother to Nashville every day for a treatment and that my Grandmother was living with us. I also realized the ugly side of cancer as it took my Grandmother from us about six months after diagnosis. Through the years there were others who I knew that had cancer. Some won, some didn’t. Either way, it took its toll on those impacted – the patient and the patients’ families.Fast forward to the fall of2010. We received word that a good friend of our family, Allison, had been diagnosed with breast cancer. That one kind of hit home - she was one of us. She wasn’t an older person or a grandmother. I am happy to report that she is recovering nicely and well considered cancer free.
As I was moving my friends, David & Kristina, my cell phone rang. The number I saw was not one that I see daily (Momma Squire, etc.) on my phone. It was my neighbor, Jim. He told took a deep breath and told me that he was with his wife, Sue, at the E.R. They were at first thinking that she may have been having a stroke due to the severe headaches. Long story short – they discovered two tumors in Sue’s noggin and three in her lungs. She underwent brain surgery to remove the two tumors and it was successful in that they are gone, they weren’t attached, and it appears they will stay gone. Sue is undergoing chemo on the three tumors in her lungs and the tumors keep shrinking.
The main thing I want to write about with Sue is her attitude and strength. Her whole family and friends as well, have leaned on God and His strength to get them through these months. I can’t think of a better way to show her attitude than to show you two pictures of Sue:This picture of Sue (2nd from right) was taken during a celebration of Kingston Springs Elementary School reopening in July 2010. Note the large smile…..
The next picture was taken a couple of weeks ago at Sue’s pool. Notice the ever present smile though she has undergone brain surgery and almost eight months of chemo.
Not a large difference in the two smiles is there? Attitude is everything. Sure she has her good and bad days, but don’t we all.
Not long after Sue’s diagnosis, we got word of lung cancer recurrence for another friend and even more recently, one of our former Youth at church was diagnosed with Lymphoma. When it rains, it pours. It is a shame that when I log into Caring Bridge, there is more than one site to visit.
Why am I writing this? To whine about friends’ medical woes? Nah, I can’t whine. I can do nothing but look with admiration at my friends, especially Sue, at how they handle whatever life throws at them. Maybe I wrote it to help me and you realize what we have and to be thankful for each and every day that we have.
Hug those you love and make that call you have been forgetting and tell them you love them.
Zach, a thankful Tennessee Squire
P.S. Sue has been documenting her journey on caring bridge. Her site can be found at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/suehasse2010