I have never had to personally deal with childhood cancer but have dealt with losing my parents at pivotal points in my life. My father passed away in 1996, when I was 21, having just completed my 4th year of college and about 2 weeks after I decided to pursue my doctorate in pharmacy. Then my mother passed away when I was still figuring out how to be a mother.
Despite losing my parents, I have so many things to be grateful for. One of those things is a love of music, which I seem to have inherited from my mom. My favorite singer—hands down without question—is Elton John, but my favorite genre is rap. I know, I am making no sense again. What this means though, is that I have a very eclectic library of music and probably about 1,000 favorite songs, many of which serve to inspire and motivate me. I won’t start with quoting Sir Elton, as there are just too many awesome lyrics to pick from. Although I missed the whole Hannah Montana thing, “The Climb” is among my favorite of faves, partially because it can be interpreted any way that you want it or need it to be. These are my fave lines from this fave song:
There’s always gonna be another mountain. I’m always gonna wanna make it move. Always gonna be a uphill battle. Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose. Ain’t about how fast I get there. Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side. It’s the climb.
On any given day, it describes past or current challenges in my life. Quite simply it’s a song that can work for life in general. For me, it works for personal challenges such as running, regardless of the distance, or losing 60+ pounds of pregnancy weight, or even the tricky home/work dilemma of parenting two very headstrong young ladies while working from my home. This song also works for the difficult business and professional challenges that I encounter in my career.
“The Climb” even worked during the emotional challenges of being the primary caregiver for my mom and it works today for the grief I feel from that loss. If you read my introductory post, “What’s MMMT Got to Do with It,” and made it to the end, it is obvious that there are a lot of holes in my mom’s cancer story. As far as my mom’s cancer and treatment goes, it is truly a case of “the devil is all in the details.” Those details are very complicated. So what I plan to do, over time in this blog, is to dissect her story in ways that will reveal a “clinical pearl,” basically a tidbit or pointer that might help you or someone you love. While my mom’s journey is what I would describe as of the “the wrong track/wrong train” variety, it has given me very important and positive insights that I would never had gained anywhere else or in any other way.
Using some of the inspiration I feel from the “The Climb,” the things I plan to accomplish via this blog are these:
▪ Share my education and knowledge regarding cancer drugs. My plan is to chop down some complex info into small pieces, focusing on subjects that everyone should know about; things like standard treatments, participation in clinical trials of investigational therapies, and specific up and coming therapies. I am a trained pharmacist and have experience in developing patient-focused information, although I normally write for a physician audience. So, if I am ever talking a different language, making my easy-to-understand information as clear as mud, and you feel you need to go and read the lyrics for my inspirational climb song, please do not hesitate to let me know that in the blog comments!
▪ Further explain how/why I made the plunge into childhood cancer awareness and funding, and what I plan to do to make a difference. It’s very hard to explain, but everything in my mind, heart, and gut tells me that I am meant to help kids with cancer and their families, and that childhood cancer advocacy is absolutely the “right track/right train” for me at this particular time in my life. I’m certain that there are people within my circle of family/friends/colleagues who think that I have gone off the deep end, and there are people who should want to give back but have shown little to no interest in my new endeavors. I guess for now, I just won’t worry about them in a way that will hold me back, but I’ll keep them on my ever-ticking radar. Regardless, I do want to extend a more positive, big, giant THANK YOU to all of you in the childhood cancer community, for welcoming me and giving me the opportunity to make a difference— I will return the favor big time!
▪ Chronicle a specific event that is in the works for Fall 2014. I am a runner and have participated in lots of different races, but I have zero experience in actually organizing one. In June 2013, I took my 5 year-old daughter to a run/fun walk. It was a beautiful day and the proceeds were to go to St. Jude, yet it was striking that there were hardly any kids there. So it got us thinking, that we could/should organize our own charity event—one that includes adults but focuses on kids of all ages!! YES, my kids should be helping kids with cancer by participating in a healthy event/activity, and that way everybody benefits! One thing led to another, and now there is no stopping us! Just like the song, we’re going to move a mountain and this run/walk/sports day, which will be no ordinary event, is planned for September 2014 and will benefit the cancer center of a local children’s hospital. I will be sharing my entire journey with organizing this inaugural event, in hopes of developing a road map that someone else could follow if they would like to do the same thing or something similar.
To wrap up, I may write medical/scientific stuff and blog posts but am no songwriter (and cannot carry a tune to save my life), but “The Climb,” is a song that I would have written, and literally would not change a single word.
Take care, until next time.
Related Article: What’s MMMT got to do with it?