Wednesday, May 21, 2008

It has been more than a poster

My son Rob is in the Air Force. While living in Nebraska, he is unable to be here with us at this time, while his dad has been having chemo treatment. Robert knows how much his dad loves the sport of boxing and sent him a poster to put up in the hospital while he had his treatments. While looking for a photo of Charlie's all time favorite boxer of Muhammad Ali, he felt this one best depicted what he wanted to get across to his dad the most; he felt that Muhammad represented his dad looking down at his cancer (sorry Sonny). It all started when I printed this post that Rob published on his blog and brought it to the hospital for Charlie to read, it brought tears to his eyes. I let Rob in on what he did without even knowing it. I told him that this photo was one of his dad's favorite's. This is when Rob decided to track a poster down with this image on it to put up in his dad's room. He sent it to his sister and she lamented it, and then gave it to me, and my aunt and I taped it to his hospital room's window. It was the first thing you saw when you walked in the room. Charlie knew at this time what his son had seen in the photo, himself conquering cancer. What Rob did not know was the story behind the photo and how it all worked itself out in his dad's decision to keep going with the chemo treatments.

I heard time after time when a nurse or our doctor would walk in, either them commenting on the poster and/or Charlie telling them about his son, who couldn't be with him right now because he was in the Air Force. He shared with the doctor and nurses what his son had seen in the poster concerning his cancer and you could see how proud he was telling this story. I then would hear Charlie ask them (whoever it was he told this story to), "Do you know what Muhammad was saying to Sonny Liston in that photo?" Only one young nurse did (who was a man). The nurse told Charlie, "Get up!" (You could see Charlie eyes light up and knew they had something in common). Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston title matches are still one of the most controversial boxing matches in the world. The second match only lasted 1 minute and 42 seconds before Muhammad Ali knocked down Liston with what would become known as the "phantom punch". While Liston layed on the ground, Ali stood over him screaming to get up while photographers snapped this now famous photo of the scene.

As we've gotten through the last chemo treatment yesterday, Charlie let me know that he has decided to keep fighting if his scan shows he still has cancer; he will do whatever it takes. Charlie brought up the subject of the poster his son had sent him and what Muhammad was telling Sonny Liston. Charlie wants to fight; he is ready!

I told Rob about the sequel of events involving him and his poster that he sent his dad, I could hardly get the words out from being emotional.

Note ~ Charlie now weighs 133.8 pounds. H
e drove for the first time on Monday and is now able to walk around the block. He has a c-scan this Friday to see where his cancer is at. We will find out what the results are next week. He still gets tired very easily, but is listening to his body and doing what it is telling him to do.

I want to Thank everyone for their prayers, positive thoughts and words of encouragement. For squeezing my hand from very far away and letting me know that you are here. For holding me in spirit. For being my cheerleader and rooting me on. For lighting a candle on your desk. For not commenting, but caring enough to read about my husbands battle with cancer and our journey in this together. Your words and just knowing that you are there have carried me when I didn't think I could take another step. I thank you, from the bottom of my heart. It means more to me than words can say.
Thank you ~ Thank you...



  1. What a KNOCK-OUT! Post Angela! It tells us everything! Charlie is NOT giving up and I'm soOOOOOOo glad your son could do something for his dad that means sooOOOOo much! That's so hard on all of you not being able to be together. I bet YOU were so glad to hear Charlie has the fighting spirit! Great news from afar! I'm sending more love and prayers, keep the Faith, I'm in your cornor rooting on Charlie! as a lot of people are!

  2. WOW! Just WOW!!!

    So happy for you all. A ten pound gain AND driving AND walking around the block. Sounds like the champ is back again!
    Rob must be so thrilled that he could help from where he is.
    Much, much love and hugs for you all.

    We're still talking to God about Charlie every day.

  3. I am soooooo glad to read about your amazing fighting spirit
    Senidng you many many positive thoughts and vibes

  4. Charlie is such a stud!
    and you, my dear, are an angel.

    It's fabulous to see the light at the end of the tunnel. You too have been the fighter, Ang. And a fearce force to recon with. I am blessed to have you here at my side too.

    you are loved by me,
    xoxo darlene

  5. Oh my, I'm so proud of both of you!!

    You are both fighters, and winners.

    Love and Hugs
    Wanda Mom

  6. I remember Ali and yes he was the Greatest. What a great story. Tell you husband to keep fighting no matter what. My brother in law went through it a few years ago and we all thought it was the end. He is now at home, living a normal life and doing great.

    After the worst was over and he was home, he tried to do too much too soon and started to get sick again. I scolded him and said "let me tell you something. You are not going to over do it. You may have been on death's door but I was in a living hell. While you were out of it in that hospital, I had to listen to all the crying and carrying on by all the women in the family and I am not going to do that again. Now get well" He listened and is doing great now. I will pray for your husband.


  7. Mia

    I am so emotional about this good though, I am so proud that I was there to help you put that poster up
    I know how much it meant to everyone
    and I knew what spirit of the champ charlie has in him.

    this family will continue to be there for all of you when ever you need us
    even when you don't think you do we
    are always here for all of you

    big hug to charlie and you

    love you both always

  8. I'm in tears now, but thank you and what a great son. I'm so please to pray for you and Charlie, you have no idea what a privilege it is! Lots of hugs and squeezes to you both.

  9. Great story and great poster!
    I am glad things are going the way they are going (in the right direction) I will continue to pray for you guys.

  10. This is powerful Angela. I'm so proud of you and your family. Your strength, faith and hope for the future will not let you down.
    Charlie is doing so well, and sounds ready emotionally to face whatever comes next. Rob couldn't have sent a better gift to Charlie.
    Love to you all

  11. This blog was very touching for me! Your family will be in my prayers!