Every now and then, we meet someone who is so special it makes us feel good to be alive. Fortunately, with the kind of work I do, this experience is something I have frequently. For some, the emotional part of experiencing the ups and downs associated with cancer is not something they are up for confronting on a daily basis. I am occassionally asked about living my cancer, so to speak, and having it play such a prominent role in my life.
Well, there are many reasons why people put themselves in positions that involve great emotional connection. The lows can be tough, but I feel it is part of life. Dying is part of living. The more I keep that in mind, the better equipped I am to live. That’s my personal feeling, and while the lows of cancer are tough and sometimes draining, the highs are why I’m here doing what I do.
And let me be clear that by “highs” I’m not just talking about things like getting out of the hospital, getting in remission or having a good check-up, or celebrating anniversary after anniversary. Often the highs for me come from experiencing the lows. It is often when someone is experiencing a low that you see how truly remarkable they are.
There’s some line about “it’s not the warm sunny days that reveal a person’s character, but those that are filled with snow and storms.”
In my “work” — sometimes it feels like work, but not most of the time — I get the distinct pleasure of traveling from school to school and connecting with all kinds of incredible people. The RTC portal offers that same opportunity, and it is these kinds of opportunities that put me in a position to quite comfortably say that I would trade places with anyone.
In the past number of months, I have come to know a young girl who has been presented with this life altering challenge of cancer. Her name is Krista Hong, and on far more than one occasion this fall, she has given me cause to sit and marvel at her spirit and how she is approaching her challenge.
She was in high school a few years ago when I visited her school and she is proof that we never know what lies ahead. At the age of 18, she was presented with a diagnosis of cancer. I visited her in the hospital and told her that if she ever had messages and experiences she wanted to share, RealTime Cancer had outlets through which she could share her story. She has taken me up on that time and time again. She has made such great contribution to our small but growing online community.
You all are a part of that online community in an indirect way through your membership on this email group. Today I am writing to ask for a favour; I have a special request.
In the past number of weeks, Krista has been faced with a collection of new challenges related to treatments and such, though you would never say by her demeanor. Her prognosis seems to be worse than it was a while ago, though you won’t detect that in her speech or tone. Her spirit is as positive as ever, and I’m a big believer in the power of positive energy.
In fact, that is exactly why I’m writing. In October of this year, I attended an exceptional retreat in Halifax. At the retreat, the doctor actually described a study that — I think — involved heart patients who had surgery. The study had two groups: one had a group of people praying for them, or sending positive energy their way; the other didn’t. I think that neither group had any idea about the prayers or positive energy. And the group who had others praying for them recovered much quicker from surgery.
I’ve heard a number of variations on this study and have been thinking about it a lot lately. At some level I have trouble with the findings as one could deduce that a famous person who had millions of adoring fans might fare better in a health challenge than someone with a very limited sphere of influence. However, I do believe very strongly in the power of positive energy.
So my request for you all is simple. Please take a moment upon finishing this message, or whenever you have quiet time in the day, and send Krista some positive energy. Pray, meditate, whatever is most natural. She is such a special spirit and I hope that you will find some time and energy to remember her and the challenges she has faced and is facing, and send her some energy for the road ahead.
You can meet Krista on the RTC portal and see for yourself what an amazing young person she is.
I know I’ve had hundreds sending me positive energy from all across the globe and to what level that has played in me still being here, I don’t know. But I strongly believe it has made an impact. I hope you can help me with this simple request. Thanks in advance.
Live life. Love life.