Starting Hepatitis C treatment has brought back memories of my cancer treatment experience. Would you be surprised to hear there are actually some parallels? Thankfully there are also so big differences too...
Most of all, it's the people who touched my life back then that I remember the best. Even after 24 years, the feelings of love and nurture from people who went out of their way to support me during my eight month battle with cancer continue to live on in my heart.
Just the other day, I remembered Mrs. N, a family friend, who sent me a letter every time I was admitted to the hospital to start a new round of chemotherapy.
Mrs. N was my younger sister A's piano teacher. She was also friends with my mother. I can remember going to Mrs. N's house to pick up my sister and sitting in her living room listening to them play the piano as they were wrapping up their lesson.
Now one of Mrs. N's daughters had had cancer a few years before me--I believe it was Hodgkin's disease, now called Hodgkin's lymphoma. Her daughter J had gone to the same high school that I had, but she was several grades ahead of me. So when I was diagnosed with leukemia, I asked my mother if her daughter would come visit me in the hospital and share with me her story of cancer treatment.
Looking back, I sensed that J didn't feel like she helped me all that much. It was difficult for her to share her memories of her cancer treatment and probably even more difficult to be in a hospital visiting a cancer patient. But J was living, breathing evidence that a young adult could be diagnosed with cancer and survive...and that was exactly what I needed in that moment.
As for Mrs. N's letters, they always cheered me up. She must have gone to Aahs!, a local card and novelties shop here in Los Angeles, to purchase these crazy envelopes with messages like "Urgent: Your STD Test Results Enclosed." I know she did this to make me smile. Then inside the envelope was a letter with words of encouragement and hope that always made me feel good.
The part the made me laugh is that she mailed these envelopes to me at the hospital! Can you imagine what the people in the hospital mail room thought when they saw a letter for a patient in an envelope like that?!? Ha, ha!
It's wonderful people like Mrs. N that gave me the inspiration to invite you all to be a part of my current cheering squad. Mrs. N passed away almost 10 years ago and I am not sure that I ever really thanked her properly for her support back then. I'd like the think that the warm memory I am sharing with you today keeps her spirit of generosity and Christian love alive though she is not longer here with us.
Head over to SignUp Genius and sign up to provide just one day of support for me while I am undergoing Hepatitis C treatment. With 21 days down and 147 to go, there are still plenty of opportunities to participate.
Want to be a member of Team Selena?
Support me during the 168 147 days
of my Hepatitis C treatment!