Before I start, I want to say that I am not suffering from depression. But I do have a lot of depressing moments. These moments of depression, however, are not directly caused by my cancer. Instead, these moments of depression are caused by the cancer present in others, specifically in children. In this brief post, I will blog about knowing so many children that have cancer.
I know too many children with cancer
Over the last few years, I have followed the progress of two different friends with children that have cancer. Both of these cases have had a lot of ups and downs. And currently, both kids are fighting hard against what appears to be a huge uphill battle. These poor kids have endured many rounds and types of chemo, radiation, stem-cell transplants, Car-T Cell therapy, experimental drugs, and who knows what else. For both of these young men, there have been multiple times where things appear are looking better. And then wham…. Suddenly things are worse than they were before.
Additionally, due to this blog and other means, I have gotten to hear the stories of dozens of children fighting cancer. I have spent countless hours speaking to parents about their children. Most of this time I spend just listening. Some of these parents feel like they have nobody to talk to truly. I have no problem being an ear for such people. If anyone reading this needs someone to speak with, I will make my cell phone number available.
At the end of the day, I follow the progress of probably almost three dozen children fighting cancer. Three dozen might not sound like a lot to some people. But to me, that three dozen children seems like an unbelievably high number. I mean, these are children with cancer. I have a long life of making poor decisions and can look back at many possible ways I got my cancer. But these children might not even have a long life thanks to cancer. It can get overwhelming when I think about it.
What keeps me upbeat
Even though it can get overwhelming, I’ve learned not to let it overwhelm me. Last summer, when I was going through depression, I was able to speak with someone who helped me and continues to do so. I am generally back to being a pretty positive person. When I start to get overwhelmed by the pain and suffering of children with cancer, I begin to focus on what I can do to help them. Specifically, I focus on this blog and the upcoming podcast. I have found sharing my story has helped some of these parents get through their struggles. By reading what I go through, these parents sometimes feel they understand what their child is going through.
The other thing I do to get through the onset of depression is to focus on what I now call my “geek charity initiative.” Last year I joined the South Dakota Ghostbusters (SDGB). The SDGB is a group that dresses as Ghostbusters and raises money for charity. There are other related groups I am hoping to join in the future. Specifically, there is a superhero and a Star Wars group I hope to join. I need to focus on getting costumers together. These groups do beautiful things for the community. Not only do they raise money for charities, usually relating children, they also visit sick kids in hospitals. Bringing some joy to a kid that is very sick is one way I feel that I can be of help. I hope to do as much of that in the future as I can.
My plans for this year
As I wrap up this post, I am feeling very optimistic. I have plans to keep this blog going. Additionally, I will be doing a podcast to accompany this post. Actually, a friend of mine is trying to talk me into doing a blog and podcast about my “geek charity initiative.” I might do that. There are at least a few charity events this year, which I hope to attend in full costume. I fully plan to find ways to help as many kids with cancer as I can this year.
Song of the day: When the Children Cry
This song from White Lion is more about what we adults are doing to mess up the world for future generations. But yet I can’t help but think something we adults have been doing is to blame for so many children (and adults) having cancer. For that reason this cheesy 80’s hairband ballad is today’s song:
Bonus Song: Ghostbusters
Yes, I am going to include the theme song from Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr. The movie Ghostbusters had a significant impact on me as a kid, and now as an adult, I pretend to be one. I ain’t afraid of no ghost!