Friday, November 14, 2008

Gratitude - by Jen Hilt

"Gratitude" - by Jen Hilt

"At least it's not cancer", I must have heard this phrase at least 3 times during the aftermath of my son's diagnosis. Hearing this as a response to Henry's new diagnosis fueled my confusion, anger and depression. I was supposed to be grateful he had diabetes instead of some other awful illness? Why did he have to have any medical condition?
Around the same time, while working as a nurse, I needed to give a teen living with cancer an injection. The patient was notably apprehensive so I said in hopes of offering reassurance that "my son had diabetes so in addition to all my years giving injections, I give them to him several times a day." I was surprised to receive a pitying look from the teen, "I will recover from this cancer but your son will always have diabetes."
This wasn't what I was expecting to hear. To be candid, until someone figures out how to jump start a failed organ function this is true. And this young person with cancer sounded grateful not to have diabetes. Gratitude springs up in the most surprising places.

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