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Have you ever watched male lions battle ’til the end? Here are four young males against one elderly lion. It can be hard to watch and you hear yourself yelling, “not fair,” or “pick on someone your own size!”

Yet nature has its’ own rules that humans don’t always understand. I catch myself asking if they have to do this or if they feel pain or if they know their time has come? It’s sad, but at the same time, very powerful, but I don’t make a habit of watching the film clips.

I also find myself asking why doesn’t the person filming intervene and stop the battle?! Humans can’t possibly understand and eventually learn that nature, along with being beautiful, can be brutal.

This is how I see cancer. The young males are healthy cancer cells, while the elderly male is what cancer eventually turns into. It’s the cycle of life, but if you try to make heads or tails (No pun intended) of it, you will not like the result.

The elderly lion fights for hours, but he never quits until literally his back is broken. The young males eventually leave the older male where he lies, waiting for the end. Sad, but true.

If it were the other way around, it would be even more tragic because a young male would be killed during the prime of his life. Much like the toddler or teenager who succumbs to the cancer way before their time and after a fierce battle that he should have won.

This is my analogy of cancer and the cycle of life.

You (parents) have to fight, especially for the children because they don’t understand, at first. While I, the adult, have known exactly what has been going on from the beginning.

I believe in  St. Jude Hospital’s mission and it is what they are all about:




When you step into a doctor’s sterile, cold and colorless exam room, you just want to turn around, run straight home and climb back into bed. A nice dark bedroom. Away from the needles, invasive x-rays and procedures.

If I, as an adult, become extremely uneasy, freshjust imagine what goes through a kid’s head. Believe you me, when I say that I would take the place of a kid in a heartbeat. They are much too young for this.

My youngest nephew would blurt out ‘not nice’ if something wasn’t going his way. I can relate when it comes to doctors! There isn’t anything nice about being poked and prodded.

My main doctor is a gastroenterologist and liver specialist. During one of our many discussions, he mentioned that he did not get into pediatrics because it was too emotionally taxing. For this sole reason, he only sees adults.

He recommended me for a writing job for the pediatric clinic. I worked with the head pediatric doctor on a special project.

I was in clinic one afternoon and asked if I would like to see an actual ERCP procedure. I got permission from the hospital, procedure doctor and most importantly the parents of a three-year-old boy.

It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever experienced. That poor toddler. It broke my heart and I had to leave before it was over. I couldn’t stomach it. I could see how distressed the parents were. It’s like one of those ASPCA animal rescue commercials: Dogs shivering in the snow. Utter helplessness.

Afterward, the parents were looking quite tired and the toddler was a handful. He was really nasty to everyone, but who could blame him? I didn’t.

Changing Medicine. Changing Kid's Lives



These are common sights that can put the fear of GOD into anyone, especially children. I am looking at these pictures from last fall and it feels like I have a million butterflies in my gut.

I am going back after five months in the desert, our winter home this year. It’s a total of 3,400 miles roundtrip. I leave in two days and am full of dread.

So far I know I will have blood draws and ultrasounds right away. Sometimes the not knowing is better than to know.

In 7 days and 1,700 plus miles, I will be ‘home.’

I already can’t wait until next fall when I’m back on the road, heading south to avoid the long, cold and wet winter.

Until then, what gets anyone through this is love, hope, and laughter.

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Being a former cat owner, I can guarantee you this kitten jumped back up onto the bed to resume the battle! 

Cancer comes in all different flavors and affects all age groups and sexes. So, if there is one thing to take from all this is that you are not alone.

Although, when it affects children it is even more devastating, especially for the parents. My heart goes out to each and everyone it touches. 

I was recently in Phoenix and saw this poster. Kudos to the parents and child who agreed to this poster. I’m sure it wasn’t easy, but a lot of good can come of it.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation

I’m not sure exactly where I’m going with this, but as with all blogs, directions can change and usually for the better. It’s a learning process and takes time. I would like this to be shared between parents and their children, so for now, I will leave it as is.

The battle for me has just begun.