Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Carrot, The Egg, and The Coffee Bean

Tyler had school again today. Then he ventured down to play a little x-box. Today was mostly just relaxing and preparing for tomorrow’s start of chemo round 4.

One of the many things that has impressed me about Tyler through this process is that he has never said “why me?” In fact, he has mostly shown concern and compassion towards the others on J-5. He worries about his friends and his family. He is always asking for updates on everyone. When he does talk about his cancer (and he very rarely does), it is usually in the context of how lucky he is. He is an amazing young man.

Tyler was able to sit in the kitchen for a while tonight during dinner. It was good to have us all together before we move back into the hospital.

During dinner Erik got a leg cramp, and asked Kathy if aspirin would help. Tyler offered up some morphine.

We will be on J-5 by 4:00, and starting chemo around 6:00. The chemo treatment will last 7 hours. Tyler will receive two treatments a day for the next 7 days. This will essentially be a repeat of round 3. Round 3 was very tough. A few side effects that even had the doc's scratching their heads. But Tyler is geared up for another fight. And again, he will fight to win.

I would like to share a story I found on a blog by our friend Stef. Last summer Stef was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic colon cancer. He was one of the first visitors we received on J-5, when he brought Tyler a shirt with his logo, “I Refuse to Lose”.

Here is the story:

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as soon as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.
In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, ‘Tell me what you see.’ ‘Carrots, eggs, and coffee,’ she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, ‘What does it mean, mother?’

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

‘Which are you?’ she asked her daughter. ‘When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain & adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain.. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.

Which one are you?


Anonymous said...

We are thinking of you this week. Fight hard and be strong.
The Beith Family

Stef Tarapchak said...

Tyler, my house is healthy again and I will come up to see you this week. Continue to be strong!


Anonymous said...

We are thinking of and praying for you guys as Round 4 starts. Keeping fighting, you'll be another step closer to beating this.


Anonymous said...

Hi Tyler,

We are thinking of you & praying that round 4 will go by quickly for you. Take care & know that you are in our thoughts continuously. Keep up the fight!!!