On the day we cure cancer I will rise in morning dark. I will stand in last night cold, and watch stars fade. The light will come and a following breeze blow. On that incredible dawn, there will be brilliance. I will make sunrise rounds on the day we cure cancer.
I will stay late and breakfast with my wife. We will talk about flowers, kids and books. I will stand out and see children with parents laugh and scurry almost late to a bus. Mothers on porch steps. Grandfathers there for early stroll. Families whole. I will see life on the day we cure cancer.
At the hospital, we will drink coffee and eat donuts. Make new syringes into trash. Pour harsh drugs down drains. Turn radiation monsters into kaleidoscopes and planters. Dull scalpels. Plan vacations. Have wheelchair races. Give out beds to homeless. We will smile quietly on the day we cure cancer.
I will call the insurance company and wish them well. Thank the lab tester, blood drawer, x-ray taker, pharmacy mixer, front desker, researcher, bill sender, educator, social worker, floor cleaner, food cooker, CT scanner, doctors and every disease task doer. Congratulate all on victory day. I will salute the soldiers on the day we cure cancer.
I will cry, I will cry, and I will finally cry. I will recall fallen millions. The men and women and moms and dads and sons and daughters and leaders and followers and smart and dumb and good and bad and weak and powerful. I will curse waste, loss, pain and fear. I will replay battles fought and won or lost. Honor the harsh bravery of victims. I will remember them on the day we cure cancer.
I will call survivors. Make sure they are all right. Tell them it is OK to come out. No need to cower. They are whole. It is safe. On the day we cure cancer.
I will fish. I will read. Fix the swing. Hold warm earth. See art without darkness. Enjoy a lunch meal. I will live without struggle. On the day we cure cancer.
At end I will be home and walk in joy with those I love. We will hold hands too tightly. Feel the emptiness of the loss, the fullness of the saved and the hope of not again. I will not watch the setting of the day. I will hold the brightness. The glory of the day we cure cancer.
James C. Salwitz is an oncologist who blogs at Sunrise Rounds.
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