None of this was our Monday Hero’s choice. The chemo, the hospital stays, the awesome scar snaking up the base of his neck. In fact, much of our Monday Hero’s current situation is out of his—and his family’s—realm of influence. But the one thing he can control is also what makes him a true hero: his outlook.
Josh was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor in June 2012. Prior to his diagnosis, he was a typical fifth grader who had strange headaches and moments when his walking coordination simply failed him.
Fast-forward to a warm Saturday in April 2013: Josh is two-weeks out from his ninth round of chemo and is in the hospital (for what seems like decades!) for blood transfusions. Improved blood counts are his ticket home, and the pressure’s on. I’m sure I join every nurse and family member in wishing I could just give him my blood, as much as he needed. Josh looks exhausted but smiles when I come inside; a smile that widens when I drop a gift bag onto his hospital bed.
His answer to “how are you?” is simple: bored. The medical scares, big words, and procedures have not overshadowed the basic elements of Josh: he is a boy who is all about fun, laughing, and enjoying life. And he misses his puppy, Buster. He wants some binoculars so he can spy on people in the hospital parking lot.
Josh plays his Nintendo DS while I catch up with his mom. We’re sitting on the cot where she’s supposed to try to sleep, knees against Josh’s bed. I catch Josh’s face in the corner of my eye. His expression is drooping, and he looks very sad all of a sudden. My eyebrows raise to his mom, who smiles with half of her mouth. Then Josh slowly rolls his eyebrows up and brings his tongue to the tip of his nose. He likes to be weird instead of bored.
The soul of this child is amazing. I never feel sad around Josh. His spirit is too full to let sad take up any space in the room. Josh’s recovery party will be summer 2013, after his last round of chemo, but every day with Josh in the world is reason to celebrate.
If you’d like to support Josh’s Recovery Celebration through a donation, please email me: email@example.com. Or, stay tuned! His mom and I are setting up a fundraising page online!