By Debbie Christiansen
It was April 1st, 2014. Yes, April Fool’s Day. A day when we rack our brains, trying to think of that perfect gag to play on co-workers and friends. But not last year. Last year April Fool’s Day was no laughing matter. And it’s a day I’ll never forget – as long as I live.
I was sitting in my office with my face in the computer when I received a call from my best friend. She had her biopsy results — Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer. And it had metastasized to her liver. I think this is the first time I fully understood what the term “in shock” meant. Just six months earlier we lost a friend to breast cancer – and the probability of the “C” word hitting again was impossible – so we thought.
I remember trying to speak, but couldn’t. Hindered by that lump in my throat. When I finally opened my mouth, my voice was trembling. And tears were running down my face. However, the person on the other end of the line wasn’t trembling. She wasn’t even crying. She was pissed! “FUCK THIS!” As I recall… were her exact words. And it was at that very moment I knew, cancer had met its match. (more…)
Power Through It began as a tribute to friendship and has grown into a support network that keeps us connected to our friends, family and community. It is now home of our stories—we hope you enjoy them and share them—but more than anything, we would love to add your Power Through It journey to our collection. (more…)
Power Through It Stories:
“That Man is Fat”
by Cindy Buckley Koren
I wondered how long it had been since my fourteen month old son had stood up in his crib and cheerfully greeted us with is typical “Hi Dad” or “Hi Mom.” One day he just stopped talking. He wouldn’t even answer to his name anymore or respond in any way. I would sneak up behind him when he least expected it and obnoxiously shake a tambourine right next to his ear—he didn’t even flinch. It got to the point where I had to pick him up and move him when I was vacuuming because he was so captivated by dust particles floating in the sunlight through the window.
The hearing tests came back normal. But Clark wasn’t normal. Our pediatrician dismissed me and claimed his big sister did the talking for him. Suddenly everyone was referring to how old Einstein was when he first spoke. I didn’t care about Einstein. I found a checklist of symptoms, and that is when I knew… my son was autistic. (more…)
by Danny Percival
May 17th 1965 – that was the day the Percival family received a new addition – Sara Dean – and for me it was love at first sight – in the 48 years since that day she has been known by many names, Sara, Scooter, Scoot, Mom, Aunt Sara & The Chosen One. Let me explain the last one, this is an affectionate name (sometimes) that Doug and I called Sara from time to time and this past 4th of July we witnessed the great humorous side of our sister. For years every 4th Scoot, Doug & I have a ritual of going to town by boat after the fireworks to see old friends from our summers at the lake. Well, this year for some reason our parents didn’t think it was a good idea and we were like “Really?” After some discussion between the three of us, out of the blue, Sara said “Let me talk to them, after all I am the chosen one.” So while we were on our way to town that night by boat we all had a good laugh. You see this is the Sara I know and love, never too full of herself, but cherishing the little things in life. Even though her life was cut short, Sara would not want us to feel sorry for her because that was not part of her makeup, and this is evident in the way she lived her life to the fullest each and every day, even up to the very end. One night I was talking with Sandy Valenti and she was telling me about when she would take Sara to treatments and they would talk, not about why me or this isn’t fair, but about what projects and tasks she had to do in the coming days. Sandy then used a phrase that hit me like a ton of bricks because it described Sara to a T, Sandy said “Dan it was amazing. Sara just powered through the treatments.” This was evident. When I asked Sara one time how it was going, she said and I quote “Danny, I can handle the treatments but they are a pain in the ass because they interfere with my plans”… she powered through it. This past summer we celebrated our parents 50th anniversary in Long Lake. The date was right after one of her treatments and the doctor was against it, but she negotiated using the argument “But I have the dinner.” As bad as she felt…she came…she powered through it. Even in her last months she went to Colorado to visit her daughter Nicki. She got all three kids off to college, did eight hour shifts at work, and arranged treatments so she could enjoy her weekends with her friends……she powered through it. In the last week that Sara was with us, even though she was not feeling well, she still went to see her daughter, Jessie, play soccer and see her son, Eric, not once but twice in 5 days, she powered through it. (more…)