I hope everyone lived strong on LIVESTRONG Day! I, myself, completed the day by seeing Mission: Impossible III, in which everyone lives VERY strong with weapons or without them, with bombs in their heads or without them, using Easy Cheese to dissolve the side of a van (or not). AND sometimes they even compute the fulcrum. That’s why, when I was young, all science seemed interesting to me EXCEPT physics – it was because of the fulcrum. When they gave you the picture with the teeter-totter with the supporting triangle in different places and said, “Where is the fulcrum?” or “What is the right fulcrum if the wee tiny kid and the really LARGE kid want to teeter-totter together?” I was always thinking “WHAT IN THE HELL IS A FULCRUM?”
I said a lot of what I might say now (had I not written it already) in “I Have Learned What it Means to Wear Yellow.” But, as things change for the better and for the worse, I have things to add. So let me talk about why I STILL Wear Yellow and probably always will.
I Wear Yellow in continuing memory of Laurie Walker, Helen Pawlowski, Joan Koralewski, Simon Craig Vodosek, and, yes, Mister Rogers. I Wear Yellow in honour of their families and loved ones who miss them, and to pay homage to their amazing legacies.
I wish you’d met this incredible child, Laurie.
Your daughter is such a beautiful Mother.
I Wear Yellow in abiding optimism for Dr. Lisa Cannon-Albright. I Wear Yellow because of her personal fight with cancer, and in admiration and respect for the work that she and her colleagues do every day so that perhaps some day the losses and battles caused by cancer will be diminished – vanquished!
I Wear Yellow, too, in support and hope for Glen H., Barbara K., Ann E. and in their ongoing battles with cancer. My thoughts are with you and with your families.
I Wear Yellow in celebration for my beautiful niece, Sarah, who has had a “complete response” to her Hodgkin’s Lymphoma treatment.
Prom, April 22, 2006
I Wear Yellow in profound gratitude to Primary Children’s Medical Center and all the wonderful doctors there, especially Dr. Zeinab Afify, LDS Hospital and the wonderful Radiology Oncologist whose name escapes me, Cottonwood Hospital, all the home health nurses and workers, and the remarkable physicians at Johns Hopkins who worked so hard to figure out was wrong in the first place.
I Wear Yellow in thankfulness for all the Monkey Cats who provide an INSANE but diverting respite for Sarah from the unending (though natural) concern of her family. You have all been just FANTASTIC (and, as we all know, it takes VERY special people to be Sarah’s friends, as she is VERY special). And Rob – what can I say – you really are one in a million. You take such good care of our girl and treat her with respect, tenderness and patience beyond your years. Sarah didn’t tell us, but your Mom spilled the beans to MY Mom that you even offered to shave your head in support of our G.I. Jane. And in characteristic Sarah fashion she said, “No, SOMEONE should have hair!” Nevertheless, the mere fact that you offered is a testament to your character. Thank you for helping let Sarah live a full and very teenage life despite her chemo and radiation and whatnot. Thank you for wearing a mask and using anti-bacterial gel when she was immunocompromised (without anyone even having to ask) and for helping remind HER to be careful when it was necessary. Bless you.
I Wear Yellow because Sarah has shown me what an incredible young women she’s grown into. She has faced adversity, uncertainty and pain with a truly unique approach. And through it all, she has shown with VERY few exceptions, only patience and optimism. I am so proud of you, Sarah!
I Wear Yellow for Shirleen and for my Mother who take care of everyone else first. They work so hard and take essentially NO credit for all that they do. I am in awe of both of them.
I Wear Yellow to remind myself to have faith that a day will come when “cancer-free” will mean “cancer-free.” Glen Richardson and my Father showed me we are not there yet. My heartfelt desire is that Sarah (and everyone who is living or has lived through cancer treatment) will someday know truly what it is to be “cancer free.” I Wear Yellow because I believe there are cures for cancer in the future. And if now or in the future a cure is not enough, I Wear Yellow because I trust that some day end-of-life care and palliative care will be what they should be. And I thank, sincerely, The Division of Medical Ethics for the knowledge they gave me about such important issues.
And lastly, or perhaps foremost, I Wear Yellow for my Dad. Please know that despite whatever ridiculously stubborn guff I throw your way, I love you so much! I know you are hurting, and you still work so hard. And yes, I think most of us wish you knew how NOT to work so hard, but I’m still very proud of you.
I think this is what you do the very best. You were born to be “Grandpa.”