Thursday, June 04, 2009

Connections and Coincidences

After hearing Peter Morales in the debate at the Women’s convocation and talking to him afterwards about being a seminary student in a non-UU seminary, I felt so strongly about the candidate that I sought out his campaign manager to talk to her a little bit about the campaign.

The next morning, I saw her sitting out in the main area, and sat down to chat with her some more. Peter stopped by, on his way to forage for coffee. I directed him to a closer stand (though it turned out to be closed on Sunday. Oops.)

While he was gone, Dea asked me about why I blog under a pseudonym. I explained that though it was first done because I was a seminary student, the real reason changed when my daughter was diagnosed with cancer, and I needed a place where I could be brutally honest and not have to be concerned about worrying my friends.

That led into a conversation about what kind of cancer she had. I referred to it as “kidney cancer” because unless you’re in the Wilms’ world, no one knows Wilms’.

Hmm, she said. Peter’s son had kidney cancer.


When Peter returned, after talking a little bit about the campaign, I abruptly changed the topic.

“Did your son have Wilms’ Tumor?”

SURPRISE on his face. Like I said, “outsiders” don’t know about Wilms. He confirmed, yes.

My youngest daughter, too, I explained.

Peter didn’t respond the way most of us would – “Wow, what a coincidence!” Instead, his face just dropped. “I am so sorry,” he said. . With obvious sadness, he shook his head, disbelieving. “It’s such a rare cancer …” I think he didn’t want to believe that another UU would have to go through this.

We mentally left the others for a few minutes, entering into Wilms' world – discussing the chemo regimens, what the effects of radiation have been on his son, how they moved forward. Gently, he asked about how it was affecting our family and my seminary experience. He was extremely encouraging. And he knew the best thing to say to me – “My son is now a 36 year old astrophysicist and avid cyclist.” :)

This didn’t affect my opinion about his campaign – hey, he had me at “reeks of privilege.” And frankly, I’d be a lot happier if mine were the only UU child to ever have cancer. (Only child, period, but you know, we can start with the UUs.)

But you takes whats you gets. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that hearing that another person went through this, and still turned into a successful minister, didn’t give me a lift.

And of course, getting proof that LW could go through this, with no detriment to her brain, and be a physically fit adult, enjoying life ... well, butterflies in my heart.

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