Today, and every day, I wake thinking of the children still fighting their cancer battle. I think of all the families thrust into the nightmare. My heart breaks for the families who have lost their child. I share their sorrow and their grief, and I swear I will do everything I can to help stop childhood cancer— stop the suffering and great, great loss.
As a survivor, there are no Earthly words to express my gratitude for life. What I know is that it hurts to share in the suffering of others. I understand why people need to turn away, because the truth is so painful that it strips away every single barnacle off your heart until it is barren and exposed. This “exposure” is good for us, I think in some ways. It brings us to the core of who we are and why we are here. It makes us truly appreciate the love we have in our lives and makes us grateful people. It makes us giving people.
During treatment, there were times I wondered if I would ever be able to dance again…
I will always remember exactly how that pain felt—to not be able to dance– and to be truthful, it hurts my heart to even imagine it now.
Today, as I share the pain of others, I will also rejoice in the extreme gratitude I will always have because I am able to dance!!!!!!!!
“The tribal-like music blared, and my body strained to do the movements. I was actually doing it . . . what I thought was entirely impossible . . . I was dancing. On the brink of crying out of joy, I was distracted by the intense concentration it took to make my body do what I begged it to accomplish. Tuesday was modern class, and my bald head had an almost internal glow under the dim lights.
I felt horrible. My vision was fuzzy, my legs were weaker than twigs, and my back moaned with the intense pain of the Neupogen shots. But somehow I kept going. As long as the music was playing, it carried me, supported me. I didn’t think. The music and my spirit guided my body through every single step.
The most amazing feeling on Earth is when I am just dancing, not thinking, stressing, or trying too hard to control the movements. It was happiness, and my love for dance, that moved me and kept me going. Experiencing a new, powerful connection with the melodic beat of the song, I felt like I was in a dream… it was too good to be true. Having virtually no coordination, God moved me, like His little puppet. Somehow managing to make my fragile body appear graceful, I danced in honor of life and Him.”
Copyright 2010 Melinda Marchiano Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery
May 2011 Nipomo High School Dance Company
“Held” by Natalie Grant, choreographed by Melinda (I hope you enjoy the dance!)
Have I told you before how much I love dance????????????????