You made it to my page and for that I say THANK YOU!
The univited guest....
Growing up I would hear about people who had cancer. Cancer? What kind, how did they get it, are they going to be okay? Other than high blood pressure and cholesterol from eating all the awesome delicious fatty foods that my grandma cooked, cancer was a stranger to my family. I believe I was about 25 years old, living with my parents and complaining about the woes of my life, you know all the important stuff, like why I can not seem to lose that last 5 pounds, or what do I want to be when I grow up (no worries, I FINALLY figured it out, phew!) some serious issues to worry about right? Well, thats what I believed back then, until that day we hear a knock and as I look into the peep hole I shook my head and knew there was no way I was opening the door. I told my parents to ignore it, as he is not welcomed into our home. But, no matter how hard we tried to ignore the sound, the knock only got louder.
I remember the day, waiting for hours at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix, AZ. Its a beautiful hospital, with wall to ceiling windows overlooking the desert and the mountains north of the 101. It was my dad, mom and me, we find our spot in the waiting area as they stroll my baby sister into the surgery room to do a biopsy. It was one of those days, when 5 minutes felt like hours! I tried to flip through a magazine to keep my mind from thinking the worst, I looked at my mom and dad and tried to make them smile as I can see the weight of fear on their spirit. I stared out the window and reminisced over just a few months back when I watched my sister graduate from Loyola where she studied her last year of pre-med. I was so proud of her, you see she was the smart one in the family, the one who was going to be someone important and make a difference in the world. I on the other hand, wanted to kick up the dancing shoes and party until 2 a.m. I know... I know! dont judge me just yet, remember thats what our twenties are for or at least we think! Anyway thank God I had my Lindie who always kept me grounded!
I happen to glance at my parents and snapped out of my daze. The surgery was over and Lindie at the time 23 years old, was in the recovery room waiting for us. I walked in and it felt surreal, this had to be someone elses life as this just could not possbily be mine. I looked at my beautiful sister, a.k.a. my best friend, and made a joke in an attempt to make her laugh, my attempt of course failed. Its one of those moments when you say something stupid because you dont want to accept the reality you have just been asked or forced to face. Needless to say, no matter how much I tried to ignore the knock on our door, Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma walked right in and made himself at home and from that moment our lives changed.
So, here we are at the Wellness House, where cancer lives every day. A place where those who know cancer well, can tell you that the support, hope and care they receive from the Wellness House for FREE, i.e., NO CHARGE, NO INVOICE to add to the the mountain of medical bills on the kitchen table. The Wellness House is that place where those who opened the door to that univited guest get to go and receive strength and courage to endure all that cancer took away when he came knocking on their door that one ugly day.
Please know that it truly doesnt matter how much you give, what matters the most is that you do.
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