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. He 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...