My Heroes

My Heroes

From Chicken Soup for the Breast Cancer Survivor's Soul

My Heroes

Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create that fact.

William James

“Hero”—a word that is misused and often overused in today’s society. We make instant media heroes of people for acts that should be expected from one person to another. Young boys believe you’re a hero if you make millions and can play a sport better than someone else. Young girls feel the same way about celebrities and measure their worth by this invalid yardstick.

Some special people are heroes to me: I met them at the local cancer center while going through treatments for breast cancer. I entered with an open mind and didn’t know what to expect. What I discovered were people who constantly amazed me. I met them at different stages in their cancers. Some were at the end of treatment, knowing that cancer would win the battle. Others, more fortunate, whose disease was caught in time and treated, had hope of a long or permanent remission. I met women and men who, while suffering through chemotherapy and radiation, never lost their sense of humor. Some had young families, and some were grandparents.

In a room filled with all these troubles, I met my heroes. Each day I found new friends who loved life and loved to laugh . . . people whose diseases took much, but never broke their spirit or took the laughter from their lives. In the waiting room, we joked about our lives beyond our illness, and our laughter often echoed all the way down the hall. We celebrated when each of us had our last radiation treatment, and we hugged each other good-bye when it was time “to graduate.” We also supported each other when problems occurred. At one point, I was burned by the radiation, and my fellow patients brought me through. I have been incredibly blessed by family, friends and fellow patients.

These are my heroes—ordinary, extraordinary beings who live life and are grateful for every new day, who have the compassion to care for their families and each other while battling cancer. My prayer is that their remissions are permanent and their lives are long and joyous.

Maria McNaught

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