Thursday, November 8, 2012

Positive attitude

While we visited the dealership where my husband works last Saturday, we bumped into a former coworker who was there finishing a project.  This man is a cancer survivor.  He was diagnosed about the same time as Colin's dad was, but he's still here.

He went through chemo therapies, radiation treatments, a bone marrow transplant, stem cell therapies and a few rounds of graft disease (his immune system is still struggling to accept the grafted stem cells).  He can't work, because he's immune compromised and he simply isn't in good enough physical shape to be fixing people's cars. He's not idle, though.

Smiling, as much as you can with a locked jaw, he asked about our lives, and admired how big our kids are now (when he and Colin started working together, his kids were the same ages  roughly that ours are now). He told us about his project car (as he buffed a newly pained front bumper) and how much staying busy is helping him heal.  Even as he explained about his treatment complications, he never stopped smiling. He continued to express gratitude for his good fortune. His body is fragile, you can tell by looking at him that he has been ill for a long time, but he is still so grateful and cheerful and hopeful that I can't but to be in awe.

For all the medical advances and sheer luck (he had a relative who was bone marrow donor) that has helped keep this man alive, he is also living proof that a positive attitude, a support network (every time he visits the dealership, people drop what they're doing to visit with him), and a will to keep living a life you love can bring you happiness even in the darkest of circumstances.

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