Monday, October 15, 2012

in search of a superhero

When spider man walked out of the stall in the men’s room I knew it was going to be a great day!

Surviving lung cancer is still about living. Yes, there are moments when I surrender to the whole “he who must not be named” syndrome of Harry Potter and do not want to even “say” or “hear” about the mathematics of surviving lung cancer. Yes, there are moments I stare in disbelief at the confidence of friends expressed in emails that “everything will be OK” while they themselves fade further away in the real world.

Last month I had written an entry called "fading red capes" in my blog about being a Multiple Sclerosis spouse caregiver. In closing I had mused, why can’t life be like a comic book? Where better to find that answer than 'Gotham', 'Metropolis' or as Google Maps labels it, New York City.

It was time for a quest! I’m not sure about the whole bucket list thing especially only 10 months into my diagnosis. However, in Summer my oncologist shared with me she gives all her patients regardless of type of cancer or stage of cancer the same advice – live in today do not put off life.

Accessorized with my lung cancer survivor cap, I headed to New York Comic Con in search of a superhero. I was not disappointed – thousands and thousands of superheroes walked and talked.
New York Comic Con 2012
I was 'man hugged' by Superman, high-fived by Spiderman, given a thumbs up by Batman and embraced with positive reinforcement by everyone I interacted with … almost collided with Kevin Bacon (the real one and a whole new variation on the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon) got a sketch made of myself by a graphic artist, talked with artists, fans and even WWE Divas ... I had an absolute mesmerizing and enjoyable day where for a moment in time the walls, screens, and pages that normally separate entertainment and reality simply do not exist.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t have confidence in thoracic surgeons and oncologists but in the words of the King of Comics, Jack Kirby “… today we have our superheroes. We believe in them because we believe in ourselves.” 

Patrick Leer
Caregivingly Yours, MS Caregiver @

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