The Faces of Leukemia (December 12, 2013)


Sun shines upon my face, the warmth of its gentle touch brings peace to a troubled soul. I can stand outside, I can walk freely, I can run in the sun like a 6-year-old child filled with glee.  I, I, I, I, I……..I can.

Today came the slap in the face we have been waiting for, a realization that she cannot. Yes I knew this, yes I tried my best to shield her from this simple fact. But today not through talk but action, she realized finally and fully that she cannot.

Tears flowed like rain….

A healthy vibrant (although exhausted) mid thirties woman no more than 22 days ago has been reduced to a small stepping, feet shuffling, woman trapped within the confines of her own home.  She puts up a wonderful theatrical front for all to see. But once the curtains have closed the orchestra’s plucked its final chord, the seats silenced through desertion. She no longer needs be onstage, whats left of her energy and spirit emerges. For now, a bit broken, for now a bit low, for now a heavy weight upon her heart. For now sadness as a simple act of vacuuming the floor leaves her spirit crushed, her emotions raw.

When she feels as though she “can’t”, she looks into the mirror for strength, what she sees is not what you would expect. It is not the woman who 22 days ago had a full head of hair, its is not the 14 pounds lost from her full perfectly formed body, it is not sadness in her desperate eyes. Desperate only for answers as to why?

It is who she perceives to be the real “faces” of Leukemia.

(These are but a very small portion of family and friends we love and cherish all of you)

These faces that she loves so, who have taken up or absorbed her every waking morning since the moment they first met. The faces of her friends and extended family, the faces of those who uplift her in spirit and love.  The faces of Leukemia are far and wide, reaching as a pebbles ripple in a calm lake. Starting out with a small splash, tight and circular expanding, eventually touching every open space upon the water, becoming still upon reaching an open shore.

The faces of leukemia are all those touched by this disease. It starts with the victim, and I say victim because by definition that’s what you are, a victim. Every person within the victims sphere is touched, then every person who is friends or family with those people are touched and the ripple spreads.

One person affected by this disease turns into hundreds if not thousands of people effected. All reaching, all wondering why? Just as Jacy wonders why?

Just as I quietly wonder why?

So how many people can become the true faces of Leukemia? How large would a collage of faces become? What can we do help those people as they themselves process what is happening to those they know and care about?

We gain knowledge and we fight! Not for a week, not for a month, but for a year, and a year after that and we continue to fight! Because Jacy is not the only face, because there are hundreds of thousands of victims out there, hurting as she is hurting, wondering as all of you are wondering and sharing the very same pain and experiences. We fight!

Writing is how I fight. Helping with a Bone Marrow drive that not only will help my wife at some point but maybe find a match for someone else is how I fight. The faces of Leukemia range from a year old to the elderly, they are victims and as I have explained so are their families, friends and loved ones.  For them as well as my wife we must fight.

It is not enough to just walk through this world oblivious, thinking this will never happen to me. Because I guarantee if you know someone with cancer, if you have heard of cancer if you have felt the sting cancer leaves upon you then Yes it can happen to you.

So today and everyday we must keep the faces of leukemia in our minds, the faces of all cancer patients in our hearts and we must fight…. Suffering a loss is not an option, celebrating a victory no matter how small is….

We must keep kicking cancer ass, one cell at a time..