Cancer… That disgusting, evil, dreadful, horrifying, life-changing disease that affects each and every one of us in some way or another.
Why does it exist? I am not really sure. But I do know for sure that we must stand up and battle it until the day that it no longer exists. My very close friend of two years has been battling Stage 4 Liver Cancer for about five years now.
First meeting her, I would have never known she was fighting such a horrible disease because of the smile that she never lets slip away from her face. That smile makes coming back to college after every break only that much harder.
She was living the life of a normal nineteen year old. She attended all of her brother’s high school football games and all of the big events in town. She was not letting her cancer affect her in any way.
Then one morning, I got the call that she was being rushed to a hospital an hour from home due to some major complications. I will never forget answering that call in class and completely losing it. I debated on walking out of class to make the five hour drive home to be with her, but I did not know if I was strong enough to get behind the wheel of the car. Until… I got a phone call from her begging me to leave class to come be by her side.
The drive to the hospital was probably the longest drive of my life. There were a million thoughts running through my head, thoughts of overcoming and thoughts of pure sadness. I was not sure if I would make it in time to give my friend that one last hug. I was not sure if I would make it in time to let her know how much I love her.
Thankfully, I arrived at the hospital with a red face and swollen eyes and sprinted to her room. Only to find my friend with that same smile on her face that makes it hard to go back to college after every break. That smile that brings so much joy to my heart. I wondered how she was able to carry this smile while being literally two hemoglobin levels away from death.
I was a bit frustrated with myself because I knew that my sadness and fear was radiating, yet all she wanted was happiness. After arriving at the hospital Tuesday, I did not leave her side until we walked out together with discharge papers in hand and a smile on her face.
Needless to say, her battle with cancer is not over yet. But the moral of this story is to never let your smile slip away from your face. My friend is battling some of the nastiest stuff on this planet, yet she still finds a way to let that smile shine. She can be in the most pain and be filled with so much fear, but she lets that smile shine.
Look into every situation for the positive. For when you can take that view on life, your smile will radiate. It is not just a smile that people see. It is a smile that affects people. It changes people to realize all that they have and to find greatness in the most troubling situations. Be the light of the world by smiling a contagious smile today.
Who knows, that one small smile could change the life of someone who really needs it.