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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Positive Emotions of Children With Cancer

As I experience my own bout of breast cancer, I can't help but think back to a time when a little boy I watched had ALL (Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia). He was in kindergarten when his mother discovered bruises all over his body and took him to the doctor to find out what had caused them.

I can't remember if his condition required chemotherapy or radiation, but I do remember his mother calling me one Saturday morning and asking me to come to their home. She opened the door to his bedroom, and asked me what I smelled.

The odor of death was obvious, and she knew, because I had previously worked in a hospital, that I would recognize the smell. Because computers were not around back then, I called the hospital to ask why we would be smelling that odor. According to the emergency room nurse, when cancer cells die due to radiation or chemotherapy, healthy cells die as well. The dying cells emit an odor. His room smelled like a morgue.

I bought Bradley a child's Bible and read him the story of David and Goliath. I told him to imagine that he was David and that the cancer was Goliath. And every time he thought about it I wanted him to sling rocks at Goliath until the giant disappeared into little pebbles that could easily be pounded into powder and blown away. He loved the imagery and participated in killing his own cancer. Bradley eventually went into remission. And while I've lost touch with his family after all these years, I pray he is still well.

I believe prayers are positive energy forces that contribute to a person's well being, and I thank God for all the people praying for me. As hard as it is for my family and friends to watch me go through cancer, though, I am grateful for the health of my own children and grandchildren.

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