Monday, January 27, 2014
A Strange Collection
Olympic figure skating champion Scott Hamilton was quoted in a recent Parade newspaper supplement article as saying that he had a "unique hobby of collecting life-threatening illnesses." His words resonated with me, for I have such a strange collection myself. According to the article, Hamilton has survived testicular cancer and a recurrent benign brain tumor. My history includes two bouts with breast cancer, a melanoma, a benign brain tumor and a benign tumor in my spine that caused me to become temporarily paralyzed until surgery relieved my paralysis. I've also had some benign reactive lymph nodes that pop up every now and again, needing to be excised, some benign issues with an ovary and a bladder lining condition. While other people tend to choose hobbies such as knitting, reading, fishing or painting, or collecting salt and pepper shakers, record albums or old books, I've got this rather strange hobby, just like Scott Hamilton stated, of collecting life-threatening illnesses. What I liked most about Hamilton's comments in the Parade article was that he could look at his illnesses through the lens of humor and a light heart, recognizing that his illnesses don't define him. He's still an Olympic figure skating champion, still a father, still an author and still a human being with hopes and dreams and the faith to go on. We could all learn such lessons from him.