Resurrection Stories

This being the Easter season, it seems appropriate to focus on stories of resurrection.  Not just my own, with respect to finishing the cancer treatment and moving on to whatever awaits me, but for others as well.

Phil Mickelson is the first one to come to mind.  Pro golf fans know his name well and know that he won the green jacket at the Master’s tournament today, even though he‘s not always a consistent player. I grew teary-eyed during the final hole, watching him play and seeing that pink ribbon stitched on the side of his cap in honor of his wife Amy and his mother, who are both being treated for breast cancer. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a fan of that ubiquitous ribbon, but this was one time I was glad to see it on display.  Here’s a guy who deserved to win, to have his hard work acknowledged and his career resurrected.  (As for Tiger, well, I don’t believe he’s been either resurrected OR reformed.)

Today’s local newspaper headlined the story of a man in a nearby town who is working hard to resurrect his own son. David Beshears was seriously injured by a roadside bomb while serving in Afghanistan 2 years ago. David’s father, who is also named David, has self-published a book about his son’s treatment and recuperation and still works with his son daily to help him recover. Though he himself has spine problems, Mr. Beshears’ goal is to climb Mt. Rainier every year, beginning this summer, until the day his son is able to climb with him. It’s a remarkable story. If you’re interested, you can read about it here:
http://www.theolympian.com/2010/04/11/1202319/after-ied-father-and-son-have.html

Also in today’s paper is the story of a young woman who has experienced her own resurrection after a canoe accident 10 years ago. Carly Boohm was a high school junior practicing for a river relay race when her canoe capsized in a strong current and she was submerged under water for 45 minutes. In the course of her recovery, her heart failed three times. She eventually went on to graduate from high school and talks about her life since then in this story:
http://www.theolympian.com/2010/04/11/1202330/a-second-chance-at-life-10-years.html

My own resurrection is not nearly as dramatic as these. Overall, I feel well, but suffer that fear of recurrence that I‘m told is prevalent especially for the first year after diagnosis. The odd spots on my fingernails have almost grown out.  My left armpit is still numb and some discoloration from the radiation remains, but is gradually fading.  I have my hair back — and when I bought a beautiful scarf at the LA County Art Museum last week, it was for my neck, not my head! My energy and mood flag sometimes, and I feel a tremendous stiffness in muscles and bones, which the acupuncturist attributes to the heat and drying out of tissues caused by chemotherapy and radiation (as he explained it, a decrease in the “yin“, the feminine part of that yin-yang balance). But these things are minor compared to what could be.  A couple weeks ago, I attended my first yoga class in almost a year, one designed specifically for cancer survivors (another part of the integrative services offered by the oncology center I go to).  One of the women in the class was still recuperating from a double mastectomy 2 years ago that lead to lymphedema in one of her arms.  There but for the grace of God…

And so, to keep my balance, I continue to look for (and share with you) humor and inspiration (along with those regular bouts of righteous indignation). Here are a couple of websites I stumbled across recently. These are not about resurrection (if you want humor about that, read Lamb by Christopher Moore), but they do relate to Easter, at least the secular part involving those luridly colored marshmallow Peeps.

Here they are making their contributions to science: http://www.peepresearch.org/surgery.html

And here they prove that they do indeed know how to do research: http://www.millikin.edu/staley/about/peeps/Pages/default.aspx

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One Response to “Resurrection Stories”

  1. Heidi R. Says:

    I love this time of year –I realize now because it feels more like a beginning than New Years. Thanks for resurrecting my hope with some inspiring stories and of course your own terrific writing.


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