Any one remember the song, “I Won’t Grow Up” from the Disney movie “Peter Pan?”  It came to mind today as I was trying to help guide a newly diagnosed cancer patient in the direction of a good oncologist and surgeon. 

I realized how overwhelming this new world of cancer was to this man and his wife, who was taking the lead and becoming a strong advocate for her husband, as all care givers need to do.  Just a few days ago their world was normal. 

I remember those days too.  When life and death decisions like getting the best cancer care were hardly on my radar screen.  In my line of work, I made decisions that focused on story coverage and travel arrangements and dinner reservations.  They seemed important at the time, but nothing compared to the choices I would make in Leroy’s best interests once cancer came into our world.  In fact, we always joked about ‘never growing up.’ 

We loved our work so much, there were days when we couldn’t believe we were actually getting paid to do it!  We traveled the world, covered stories most folks read about every day with their morning coffee and it kept us young and in-touch with the spinning world.  No way we would ever grow up.

Until we had no choice.

Cancer forces you to grow up…way beyond your years.  It’s serious stuff. 

Decisions come fast and furious.  Is this the right doctor?  Is this the best place for treatment?  Is this the best treatment?  Just a few of the questions that keep the midnight oil burning.  Before you know it, that old world of fun and fantasy is long gone and that grown-up person you passed in the mirror is you.

That’s what my friends are facing tonight…

“And if it means I must prepare to shoulder burdens with a worried air, I’ll never grow up, never grow up, not me, not I.”

Until you leave ‘Neverland” and walk through the door of Cancer World….

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