Days when your Rockstar is neither a Rock or a Star

It’s me. This post is for those of you out there in the caregiving role. It doesn’t have to be caregving for someone sick, it’s for all you raising kids, caring for aging parents, anyone that this may speak to.

You wonder.

I mean does he even notice if you make sure you have his favorite beer in your fridge for when he drops by?

A lifetime of giving your kid the corner piece of cake because he loves the frosting, and you taking the little piece because really who cares if mom has cake as long as the hubs and kids are covered?

You wonder if you are making any kind of difference in the world? Does anyone care, or would they even notice if one day you just were gone?

You are, and they would.

I received an email a few months ago that gave me pause.

I wanted to share it with you, not because i need the validation that I am a caregiving rockstar. I mean, it is well documented that I care. I’m also a giver. I sing loudly, and off key. Put it all together and what do you get?

Caregiver Rockstar.

I digress.

I share it because I wanted to encourage you to keep being you.

Keep cutting your husbands sandwich in half before you give it to him.

Keep bringing your wife coffee in bed.

It doesn’t have to be big bold things like finding a cure for cholangiocarcinoma, although if you’re working on it I’m happy to give you a mention on this blog. Lmao

I mean, who says Lmao on a cancer blog?

Is it even good grammar to start a sentence with I mean?

Again, I digress.

Here it is-

Dear Anne,
I’m a follower of your blog for a few years now (though I only signed up recently). Firstly, my heart goes out to you and your family; Mike was a good, good man.Your most recent blog post asked “What is your legacy?” and you mentioned that you’ve been a source of comfort and knowledge, solidarity and familiarity when it comes to your blog.

It’s been several years since I’ve been meaning to tell you this but your legacy, and Mike’s legacy, should also include being a source of inspiration as well.
I’ve been working for many years at a lab in Boston Children’s Hospital on a project to build a novel, accurate model of cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) and to understand its molecular mechanisms in order to find new therapeutic targets.

It has been a daunting task, due among other things to its complicated pathogenesis — making it a pretty “unsexy” disease, as you so well put it — and at times, it has made me question whether I wanted to go into medicinal research at all. In these times, one of the places I turned was to your blog, to remind myself that this is a real disease with real consequences, and that it was a privilege to be fighting for people as kind and as strong as you and your family are, even if I don’t know you or others. 
I’ve since graduated from Harvard in Chemical and Physical Biology and Physics, work in a physics lab now, and plan to pursue an MD PhD. I now want to advance early detection and diagnosis research to turn untreatable cancers (like CCA) into treatable ones by catching them earlier, hence the physics focus in my studies. Separately, the CCA project continues to make progress and hopefully will lead to better prognoses for CCA patients.The past two summers,

I also have helped organize a free summer camp (Camp Kesem) for kids affected by a parent’s cancer. One of the goals of Camp Kesem is for our kids to learn that in this fight against cancer, they are not alone. I guess you’ve helped me to realize that about my research and my determination to change the outlook of this disease, so hopefully this email returns the favor.
Sending good vibes and all the support from Boston. Thank you for your legacy.

If you’ve read this far.. pretty impressive huh? Share your thoughts below, I read them all.

That’s it for now Rockstars!!

Anne

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