September: The Brick →

I’m going to be one of those people for a minute.

This Steve Jobs quote comes to mind for me every once in a while:

Sometimes life is going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.

That line is from his famous commencement speech at Stanford back in 2005. The context is about being kicked out of Apple in the 1980s, but I think it is applicable to any moment that causes us unexpected pain.

It’s September, and each September, I reflect on the moment life hit me with a big fucking brick. It was May 8, 2009. I’d like to share with you the text of an email I wrote to our family and some friends that night:

I never thought I’d be the one to write a mass email like this. People you don’t know write emails like this. People your mother-in-law works with; those people write emails like this.

Needless to say, I’m shocked. But here we are.

Doctors have found a “significant” tumor on the interior of the right side of Josiah’s brain via a CT scan this afternoon. They are unsure what the tumor is at this point in time. The tumor is blocking the drainage system built into the brain, meaning that cranial fluid can’t escape. It also has affected the left side of his body – his vision, his fine motor skills (grasping items, etc) and his development (turning over on his own, etc.)

Thankfully, he isn’t suffering. He’s still his same old goofy self.

Tomorrow at 8, Josiah will be put under and an MRI will be taken for the doctors to get a better picture of what’s going on.

Surgery is scheduled for sometime Monday to remove the tumor. We should know what type of tumor it is after the surgery. They haven’t ruled anything out – it could be a simple, benign growth or cancer. We just don’t know at this point in time.

We will be here at Le Bonheur downtown for now. If it’s cancer, they’ll transfer us to St. Jude more than likely.

That last paragraph’s conjecture turned out to be exactly right, and we’ve been part of the St. Jude family ever since.

It would be lying to tell you that I never lost faith over this. I spent plenty of time angry and depressed, unwilling and unable to address what was going on, both with Josiah’s health and my own. Things I once held dear I let go of, and in some ways, am still finding my way back to them today.

A cancer diagnosis is perhaps the biggest brick most people will ever be hit with. I can’t imagine dealing with it — and the costs — without St. Jude. They treat patients from all over the world, without regard to their ability to pay. That simple statement means that we can focus on our son, not the crushing weight of his near-decade of care. It’s something that deserves the actual definition of the word amazing, and it’s something you can be a part of by supporting St. Jude today.