Today is World Cancer Day. It seems an odd day to mark because those of us effected by cancer (are there any people who aren’t?) don’t need a day. It lives with us every single day. But who am I to decide!
Will is in grade two. He adores his teacher, who we’ll call Mr. Smith. Now, while I don’t mind Mr. Smith, he’s a bit of a cult hero with the kids that he teaches. I jokingly refer to him as Jim Jones and feel like the kool-aid is being served on a daily basis. The big ‘Mr. Smith’-ism’ is positives and negatives. Every day I’m bombarded with, “Mom, that is a big negative. You should really turn that into a positive somehow.’ We won’t count how many expletives I’ve said under my breath because that is really negative. I talk to Will all the time about how, while this is a lovely way to look at the world, it’s a bit unrealistic. Truly there are some things that just don’t, to me, seem to have any positives.
Like cancer. Like my mother’s fight with cancer. It’s been almost 15 years and I’ve yet to think of a positive that went along with it. So sorry Mr. Smith. And I festered on that for a bit this morning.
In mid-fester, I opened up my Facebook to this face. This beautiful, smiling face of my friend Jo who is battling cancer. She captioned it, “Happy World Cancer Day’ and I couldn’t help but smile and laugh. Because Jo, this ridiculously courageous woman, had her spine operated on two days ago, for what seems like the 100th time; Jo, this determined warrior who found out that she was paralyzed from the belly button down a few weeks ago; Jo, this loving wife and mother who is facing this head on … said ‘HAPPY WORLD CANCER DAY’. Are you kidding me? Happy World Cancer Day? And there it was. My first ‘positive’ of cancer. INSPIRATION. I’ve never been inspired by someone so much in my life. Truly.
Then I continued my daily Facebook scroll and I was greeted with this beautiful, smiling face of my friend Sandra and her status update.
I am back in the ring today for another treatment at Princess Margaret… but its good to know its been working! I’ll just keep playing this today and practice my material for tomorrow nights big show at Burlington Perf Arts Centre….both of which require big Rocky type determination and overall belief that I can do this..ll be enjoying a fun lunch at ‘the office’ Harbour 60 with my sister in between to lighten the load.Whatever it takes .
Again, I couldn’t help but smile and laugh. Because Sandra, this hilarious woman who is a single mom with sons my son’s age is going for cancer treatment today AND rehearsing for her stand-up routine in Burlington tomorrow night?? Of course she is. Either of these – treatment or doing stand-up would debilitate most of us. Sandra, who could choose to go for treatment and go home and curl up in her bed and curse the cancer gods and anyone else she chooses is going to go out to lunch and get ready for her stand-up routine.
There is my second positive for the day. FEARLESS. I haven’t seen a day where Sandra isn’t smiling. Isn’t joking about her hair (which looks FAB short). Isn’t living.
Jo and Sandra are warriors to me. Their strength, positivity and courage are humbling.
So Mr. Smith. I’m trying. Today, on World Cancer Day, I’m going to put my raging negatives aside about this asshole disease and I’m only going to be positive. Because Jo and Sandra are so damn positive, how can I not be?
*If you’re at all inspired by this post and want to add to the positives today, please visit Jo’s Go Fund Me page. She and her family need to redo their house to make it wheelchair accessible. You can find her page here.** Or go check out Sandra’s show tomorrow night or listen to her every Sunday night at 8pm on AM640 in Toronto, on her show Inside Jokes.