I'm shaving my head.
It's my hope that by the time my son is my age, cancer will be yet another disease that has been conquered. If having a bald head for a few months is what I have to do to ensure this, then bring on the razor!
The other reason I'm doing it is this:
When I was a teenager, I babysat for a couple that my parents have known for years. They had three children, Trevor, Heather, and Erica. We'd do the usual things: watch TV, play, be silly. I'd tuck them in and read stories.
I looked after them for a few years, and life went on. I went to college, moved to Victoria, got engaged. While I was doing these normal things, something abnormal was happening with Trevor. He had cancer.
Trevor went in for treatment – in and out of hospital. He and his family were strongly religious – his mom even worked at their church – but this must have been a test of their faith. Who wouldn't question and ask why? How fair is it for a child (or anyone) to get cancer? They held fast to their faith that Trevor would get better. They attended church, went to work, went to school. I've never known anyone to believe so strongly.
Cancer strikes without prejudice. Cancer doesn't care if you're 10, or if you're 90. It doesn't care if you're seemingly healthy, or if you've been a chain-smoker for the past 20 years.
I don't have the details of Trevor's treatment, but needless to say, it wore on his small body (he was only 11 or 12). Everyone knows the toll cancer treatment takes – its worse that the disease.
And somewhere in the middle of this chaos, Trevor and his family were able to come to my wedding. It was a beautiful summer day, and they were just a typical family enjoying my special day. It was made priceless because of his attendance. The best gift I got that day was video of him wishing my husband and I luck. It was to be one of his last big outings.
The cancer hadn't been beaten by the treatments, only slowed. The last time I saw him, he was in bed, with tubes to help him breathe. He'd lost weight (Trevor was slight to begin with), and was pale. He spoke softly while we chatted. I don't remember what we talked about, but it doesn't matter. I just wanted to be there. I told him I loved him, and gently hugged him.
Shortly after that he died. I can't explain how I felt when my mom told me. Anger, sadness. The one thing I said to my husband was, "It's not fair!"
We attended his memorial. So many people came that they had to open the adjoining room. In a short period of time, Trevor had touched hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people. All I know is that as sad as it was, a calm settled in the room. It was peaceful, and it felt like for that period of time that Trevor's spirit was there, with all of us.
He is an inspiration, and I will never forget him. In memory of Trevor, 1986 – 1999.