There's no greater love than what a parent feels for their child. When that involves a young adult being diagnosed with cancer -- stage four -- in her 30s, Mom will do anything it takes to bring a smile to their face, even if it means embarrassing herself!
When I was diagnosed with stage four cancer late March of 2010, I was immediately scheduled for back-to-back surgeries on the Thursday and Good Friday leading into Easter Weekend. Understandably, my cancer diagnosis was devastating enough, but needing a different surgery two days in a row was downright depressing!
Until my mom came to the rescue! Susie Huber -- "Mom" to me -- is a big kid at heart who still wears Halloween costumes to work and does many other fun things just to bring a smile to someone's face who needs it.
"You've heard it said that, 'Laughter is the best medicine!'" Susie said. "With my daughter facing end-stage cancer in her 30s, I was determined to do whatever was needed to help her laugh at this most difficult time!"
Mom secretly located her Easter Bunny suit -- a furry white zip-up suit complete with bunny tail, head with ears, mitten paws, and shoes -- and went into action. She 'hopped' into it while I was getting ready to head to the hospital, and she greeted me announcing she would accompany me (um, like this)!
I have to say we were met with many smiles and much laughter when we walked into the hospital to check-in, and heading down the hall we would meet medical staff who simply cracked up. It gets even better: while I was back in surgery, Mom didn't simply sit in the waiting room reading a magazine! Oh no, she roamed the hallways in search of even younger children in the hospital at Easter who she could bring a "dose of Joy" to! Incredible!
I do admit, there's nothing better than being greeted by a smiling human Easter Bunny when you come out of anesthesia to bring a smile to your face and help you forget your pain! Mom prefers to be called, 'Patricia Cottontail' over 'Peter Cottontail' since she's a woman!
My mom's desire to bring happiness to others going through difficulty was definitely passed down to me. While still enduring three years of 18 chemo treatments, and suffering the complete loss of my shoulder-length hair during cancer treatment as a single young adult, I was inspired by many others I saw who were struggling to cope with their diagnosis to start & Author Cancer with JOY (Morgan James Publishing, NYC) to bring some much-needed comfort and happiness to the 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women who will face cancer in their lifetime.
The uniqueness of this comes from the double meaning; the 1,500,000+ diagnosed with cancer every year in the U.S. alone can now face cancer with JOY quite literally with me as your personal guide who's "been there" as well as facing their own cancer with JOY figuratively! My message is this, and I'm thrilled that it's resonating with so many: "No one's happy they have cancer! But you can have cancer and still be happy!"