Chattering Mind

Chattering Mind

Tonight: PBS Show on Kids with Cancer

Got a note yesterday from Pamela Miles, author of “Reiki: A Comprehensive Guide,” reminding me that PBS is airing a documentary about five children facing cancer–“A Lion in the House”–tonight and Thursday evening. “Seeing others’ conflicts and pain helps us confront the universality of suffering and make peace with it even as we try to assuage it,” she says, adding this quote from Shunryu Suzuki: “The only way you can endure your pain is to let it be painful.”

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Franklin Evans

posted June 22, 2006 at 3:39 pm

I listened to the filmmakers interview on NPR yesterday afternoon, and this is a must-see four-hour film, especially for anyone who has difficulty understanding the angst around what is becoming a curable condition.>

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posted June 22, 2006 at 5:50 pm

We watched this last night, finding it by chance more than design. We all thought we knew so much about cancer, but it all seemed academic until we saw this. My heart broke a million times for these kids, their families and their cargivers, wrestling with treatments, bureaucracy, finances, attitudes and the logistics of care. So many of these people were living breathing examples of grace and love. For pediatric cancer patients, childood is not a sacred, protected world of wonder so many other children enjoy.>

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posted June 23, 2006 at 7:10 pm

After watching the second part, I realize the world of wonder I suggested these children did not enjoy is only half true. Even in the most dire circumstances, whatever makes a kid a kid often prevailed. I can still hear Al’s spontaneous raps and Tim’s wry commentary; I see Jen hopping around. When I see them in my mind’s eye, I think LIFE FORCE. After seeing the bond that developed between these children, their families and their medical teams, it was heartwrenching to watch their response when a child died. I remember the lead Dr. said people don’t leave pediatric oncology because of burnout; they stay because they know there’s hope. Another said it’s difficult every time a child dies, and he hopes it stays that way… or he needs to find something else to do. Where do people like this come from?! When I went to bed last night I thought about my healthy, happy family, and how naturally I believe I’ll have them again tomorrow. Today I kissed my family, ran my laps, ran the dishwasher. In between, I cried for these families. I pray they’ve found whatever they need in the new normal they’ve created in their lives. This wasn’t an easy film to watch, and it”s even more difficult to think about. It raises so many questions and leaves so few answers. Nontheless, I’d recommend it to anyone.>

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