My friend Aaron, whose extraordinarily special wife Jessica has been my best friend since age 4, wanted me to read “The Sender” by Kevin Elko & Bill Beausay, about a football coach who also fought Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia, to hear my opinion on the accuracy of his cancer treatment. I then decided after reading the book’s first 8 chapters, to turn my opinions that I texted to him also into a blog series called “The Sender” Similarities.
I had to put myself mentally back into the days of my grueling & constant cancer battle. That was hard. I honestly have no idea how I got through all the life-changing hardships fighting leukemia. Only God knows.
*I hope to encourage other people who read my shared personal comments, so that they can gain better perspectives about their own special lives & continue their own unique challenging journeys one day at a time.
My Comments (that I originally texted to my friend):
I didn’t plan on texting until I finish reading “The Sender,” but Aaron wanted my opinion so I must share this part that smacked me in the face like an out of control semi. Page 15’s last line is my life, too. The line says verbatim “Few people know what it’s like to have your whole future, your entire vision and identity, stripped from you in one appalling second.” (When I was 13, my life plans, unbeknownst to me at the time, were forever erased: 1. My dream of attending U of M Ann Arbor & living on campus-GONE; 2. My goal to become a successful world-traveling journalist-GONE; 3. My hopes to marry a great guy & have children-GONE.)
Honestly, it’s getting hard to read this book because it’s bringing back so many memories. I have to mentally take myself back to the place where I started fighting cancer as a young teenager as Charlie is in the beginning of his fighting. The 2nd page of chapter 7 describes an experience that I had countless times, very well: “The sun, the air, the sounds . . . it was wonderful & Charlie absorbed every second like it was his first time being outside. Just being outside was intoxicating.” After being so sick you lay in your hospital bed for weeks & thus only see those 4 walls, or if you’re lucky you’re strong enough to walk down the hall a little, I remember the refreshing thrill of riding in a wheelchair to leave, then riding in my van away from the hospital feeling exhilarated.