When the process of reaching a diagnosis for Steven was just beginning, back in March or April 2005, I contacted the VHL Family Alliance and requested a handbook that clearly describes the genetics behind the tumors and neatly outlines scanning schedules. The handbook came in a large brown envelope, and I tore into the envelope at a stop light while on my way to pick up Steven at school. Enclosed in the envelope along with the handbook was a brochure to share with others, a brochure that clearly stated the demise of my son in four simple words.
"Not if, but when."
For people with VHL, cancer is not one of those "maybe", "if" or "dreaded" possibilities of life. For Steven and others with this disease, cancer is a "when".
That phrase truly haunted me for many, many months.
Two years later and with a bit more resolve and determination, that phrase still pops into my head daily. Now, however, it tends to remind me that if we work hard and support this cause with all of our efforts, a cure will be found one day. Our determination to raise funds is not if a cure will be found, but when.
And the the phrase that took my breath away and made me cry when I first read it has now worked it's way to a hopeful, joyful fundraising flyer!
Can I maybe twist that little phrase one more time, and add "not yet"?
"not if but when...but not yet..."
Dr. P called with abdominal scan results early yesterday morning. I'm happy to say that the scans are stable, with no spots on the kidneys and only the one "incidental" cyst on the pancreas.
Steven's kidneys are still resting happily at "not yet"!
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
...not if, but when...
...but not yet...