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My Journey of Unconditional Love, and Why I Wrote a Book About It

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Miracles come in different shapes and sizes and they happen to all sorts of people. Most would agree a miracle is an occurrence that can’t be explained. If this is true, then I have a miracle to tell you.

Miracles don’t always manifest themselves as a major cure or a financial gain. They come in small pieces and often discreetly, where no one ever sees the miracle happen. But they come, indeed.

This is the journey of my miracle (which was a new revelation to me).

Nicky, my thriving and healthy teenage son, developed a rare form of bone cancer known as Ewing’s Sarcoma. It’s a painful cancer, and one that’s difficult to treat. Not all survive. My son didn’t.

But our story does not end there.

Many have referred to me as a #CancerMom. In fact, so much so that I started referring to myself as a #CancerMom. But I’m here to tell you a #CancerMom isn’t me and doesn’t define me.

I just realized I’m much more than a #CancerMom — I am a miracle.

You see, to me, I am a miracle. I say this because my teenage son died of cancer 10 years ago, and our miracle is I am still alive to tell our story and encourage and teach others dealing with childhood cancers and other long-term illnesses.

And I’m here to keep his memory alive.

I promise you that when Nicky died, I had no idea 10 years later I’d still be breathing, let alone thriving, in the world of childhood cancer. Being a role model for change, acceptance, healing and caregiving. Today I learned that I, Michele, am more than a #CancerMom and more than Nicky’s mom.

I’m a living miracle.

The hashtag #ChildhoodCancer shouldn’t even exist, but it does, and so I must keep existing to keep Nicky’s memory alive. To fight towards equality with government funding for cancer research, and to teach other kids and parents and caregivers about how to deal with and cope with cancer of all forms (not only childhood cancer). Although childhood cancer has become my specialty.

Let’s now add to that specialty Alzheimer’s, as I’m now the sole caregiver to my mom, who is enduring late stage Alzheimer’s and a broken hip. So, along with the energy and purpose to keep Nicky’s memory alive, I struggle to keep my mom, Babs, alive.

My son’s friends urge me to be an inspiration to others in my life, the same way that Nicky had in his life and through his death.

Don’t assign me the role #CancerMom. I’m just, Michele.

I’m also a mom who wrote a book, “A Journey of Unconditional Love,” about the journey my son and I took in the face of childhood cancer.

While reading it, you will travel with us through our ups and downs, share in our daily events and get to know the people we met throughout our journey.

We will intimately expose (in a most unique approach) how we came to terms together, in the face of our cancer adversity. Our story will make you cry, as well as smile, as you learn through our experiences how death is not the end of life.

The book is about the celebration of life and love as seen through the thoughts and eyes of two very vibrant people – mom and son. Our story will be a great value to all who may be experiencing a similar fight in life. Or who’s a caregiver to someone with a chronic or terminal illness. You’ll see our story is a guide to the human soul and its unrelenting power to survive.

The story about my son dying of Ewing’s Sarcoma is only part of the magic of my book. My time with Nicky changed everything I knew about love and death. After what was the lowest point in my life, I’ll admit that death, as it turned out, was a gift for me to become stronger, clearer and more certain in my life.

It’s also about how I learned to love myself and feel the love of my son, even though he is no longer physically here with me. It’s the story of how I went to the depths of despair only to encounter miracles and magic.

My son transformed everyone who knew him and his humor and joy was contagious. The book is about a son’s profound courage and a mother’s own “death of self” to become a rising phoenix. It is about being fully alive while in the face of death.

Nicky lit the world around him with his joy and compassion until the day he left this earth. His battle with cancer redefined what I knew love could be. It is a celebration of unconditional love, which is why both Nicky and I grew, loved, lived and became stronger on our journey with cancer.

Unconditional love is a rare love; a love without strings, expectations or need. It is the most spacious kind of love and my son gave us each a chance to learn more than we ever could have imagined about love.

Finally, this book is about hope. It will make you smile and cry and love every moment of your life and your loved ones’ lives. I hope you’ll treasure this book and want to give it to those who mean the most to you, or to those who are going through a similar experience, as it will help educate them about Ewing’s Sarcoma and other cancers and chronic illnesses.

Let our pain become your hope.

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Thinkstock photo by Nadezhda1906

Originally published: September 22, 2017
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