Sunday, March 1, 2009

Erik's journal entry

Today I would like to share with you Erik's story and the amazing words he wrote in his journal. Dylan has met Erik in 2007 and it was a great privilege to finally meet him as we had been following his journal for some time. Erik is an adult with Neuroblastoma, he was first diagnosed when he was 6 years old and after treatment had no evidence of disease. Erik had 13 years cancer free but sadly he relapsed at the age of 20. Erik's story is unique because it is rare to relapse after being cancer free for so long, it's a harsh reminder to all us parents that the fight is never over - we need a CURE. Erik wrote this great entry below, and I loved it so much that I wanted to share it with all Dylan's blog readers. You can follow Erik's journal HERE

Friday, December 22, 2006 5:36 AM CST

Last night in the hospital. Transfusions are all over. Two down, eight to go. Now I just have to wait to feel better. Before that happens, it's just one more sleepless night in the hospital... what is this doing to my brain?

I've been called a lot of things since I started treatment. "Hero" "Awesome" "an Inspiration" "Impressive". Everyone knows I have a huge pain tolerance. I just don't like to complain. I'm not going to lie though--it's hard being sick all the time. All I want to do is go back to work, go to school, have a normal life. That seems so distant now. So why didn't I get a normal life? Why did I have to be a "hero"? Always wonder just what it is that I'm doing that makes me a hero anyway. Just because I'm bearing all the pain? Or is it because I keep surviving? I don't think anyone enters the battlefield assuming they are going to be the one still standing at the end of the day. And what about all my fallen comrades? Does anyone know how guilty it can make you feel?

Cancer doesn't just mess with your health--it changes your whole mindset. Suddenly all the goals and ambitions of everyone living out the "American Dream" seem so pointless because this close to the edge, you know exactly how much good it's going to do you once you are gone. You can't help but want them, like everyone else does--that's what society trains you to think. But what I really want is something that will not go away no matter what. I can't describe how much it helps me to know that so many people care about me and pray for me. It's something I think about all the time. Human relations are so much more valuable than anything material.

Cancer can do two things to you: make you stronger or make you insane. I believe I've tasted both. But if God did this for a purpose, it's going to be pointless if I don't figure out a way to make the experience useful. I can tell you it has already made me a more compassionate person. It means so much to be able to help someone out--to give back for everything that's been given to me. Even the little things that mean so much... like having a good friend to talk to late at night when you really needed it. It’s not that hard to completely brighten someone’s day.

Thanks for reading this, and pray that I get more chances to help others, because that’s what I really want.