Cancer—Something That’s Touched Us All

Photo from Pinterest

One of the most beautiful aspects of blogging is that a fellow writer will post something that connects personally. The other day, my blogging friend Beth, who has a unique ability to find beauty in the most unexpected places, shared a quote from Jim Valvano. https://ididnthavemyglasseson.com/2022/03/16/28835/ I’m betting most bloggers have never heard of Coach Valvano (Jimmy V).

This is the time of March Madness—the annual end-of-the-year NCAA basketball tournament made up of the top 68 college teams. Those who follow college basketball closely may know that Valvano and his team, the unheralded North Carolina St. Wolfpack, captured the 1983 NCAA men’s basketball tournament as a huge underdog.

While that was an incredible accomplishment, this is not a sports story. Valvano succumbed to cancer in 1993 at the age of 47. Two months earlier, he delivered one of the most moving ten-minute speeches that demonstrated his character, courage, sense of humor, and compassionate nature. (See below) I felt inspired by the power of his words, selflessness, and desire to do something not for himself but for future generations. Here was a man who got it—that we should embrace this beautiful opportunity called life and take nothing for granted.

Who hasn’t been touched by the cruelness of cancer? Many of those closest to us have experienced it firsthand or observed family and friends battling its effects. I’ve lost friends in my everyday life and the blogging community. As Valvano states in his speech, one out of four people will get cancer sometime in their life.

The randomness of life and death is sometimes hard to comprehend. Why does one person pass while another makes a full recovery? I’ve had several friends who’ve gotten better, but others weren’t so lucky.

When I was in my late teens, my mom fought that courageous battle. I can’t write this piece without telling her story. Our mom was the best person I have ever known—that isn’t hyperbole. Not a day goes by when I don’t think of my good fortune in having a nurturing mother. She had a kindness within that touched my soul and many people around her. She was the most positive person one could ever hope to meet, always with a smile on her face and the patience of a saint.

Mom and I (the French maid) doing the dishes following Thanksgiving dinner.

Mom was incredibly proud of her four boys and loved to talk about us. Whenever I was with her, it was practically a guarantee that she would introduce me to someone—and I mean ANYONE. One of the stories I love to tell happened after moving out and getting my own place. Whenever I came over for a visit, she would often suggest a walk in the neighborhood. Happy to be able to spend time with her, I always complied. I lost track of the number of times these situations played out similarly. She’d see someone she knew (not surprising because Mom was friends with everyone and was one of the best listeners), and I knew what was coming. “Have you met my son?”

We couldn’t take a walk on this occasion because my parents had a plumber there working at the house. Mom insisted I come down to the bathroom to see. I didn’t want to, but when your mother asks you to do something…. What followed was one of the most awkward scenes. I assumed that the plumber was on his lunch break or chasing down a part. Instead, he was standing in the bathtub working on the showerhead, his hands covered in grime. I wanted to let the poor guy do his job, but mom insisted on introducing me. Ha-ha! I still get a laugh, picturing his expression. I’m sure he was a nice guy, but he was engrossed in his project. His face said, “Look lady, I’m just here to fix your shower.”

Our mom was a deeply religious person. When she found out she had cancer, her faith never wavered. Her whole attitude was, “I’m willing to accept whatever God has planned for me.” I distinctly remember that we had to encourage her to fight her cancer aggressively. She was still a healthy, vibrant woman (you never met a person who lived a cleaner life) with a lot to live for. She underwent radiation and chemotherapy treatments that left her sick days at a time. Her hair started to come out, and she began wearing a wig.

We were lucky; Mom made a full recovery, despite having pancreatic cancer—a type with one of the lowest survival rates. She lived for many more decades. One of her proudest accomplishments was going back to school after she had raised her four boys and became a social worker. Mom worked with dialysis patients and their families. Her selflessness and pleasant attitude had a positive effect on everyone, including me.

I came to know as a teacher that many of my students came from dysfunctional families. Several were not as lucky as we were to live in a house full of stability and love. When I taught, I never took this for granted. Despite their environments, some kids made it out and changed the cycle of dysfunction. While I appreciate all my students, I’m proudest of those who have overcome difficult circumstances and made something out of their lives.

I’m grateful that some of Mom’s positivity rubbed off on me. I became a teacher, and I’m committed to contributing to my community in retirement. I look for important issues—literacy, helping our environment, caring for the elderly, etc., that I’m passionate about.

If you’ve never watched Jim Valvano’s (Jimmy V) speech, I promise it is ten of the best minutes you can spend today. (Get a hanky) He ends his speech with these beautiful words: “Cancer can take away all my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul.”

Coach Jim Valvano speaking about The Jimmy V Foundation for cancer research.

103 thoughts on “Cancer—Something That’s Touched Us All

  1. Your mom sounds amazing. The world is a better place because of people like her. Our family just lost a dear aunt, the wife of my mom´s only brother, the mother of 11 children and grandmother of 30 grandchildren. A deeply religious person, she never passed judgment on anyone. It was sudden and we are all still in shock. The Jim Valvano speech is amazing. Thanks.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. petespringerauthor March 25, 2022 — 2:51 pm

      Never passing judgment—a much-needed quality in the world. So sorry to hear about your aunt.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Please accept my condolences on the loss of your dear aunt, Darlene.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. As a cancer survivor, I can say your Mom’s story is an inspiration. Thanks for sharing it, Pete.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. petespringerauthor March 25, 2022 — 2:53 pm

      I’m happy for you, John. I sure would like to see the end of cancer during my lifetime.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So many have lost beloved family to cancers. I’m so sorry for it because I know how it hurts. She left you to carry on for her and I am certain she is beyond proud of how you do that.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. petespringerauthor March 25, 2022 — 2:59 pm

      My brothers are also doing a phenomenal job carrying the Springer name forward. I have to imagine our parents would be proud of the men we became. Now it’s up to our son and his cousins.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. A brilliant reflection on sharing the world with amazing, brilliant, compassionate and joyful people. Your mother continues to be an inspiration. And remember three things – your family, your religion and the Green Bay Packers. A great post and I’ll be back for the follow-up discussion!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor March 25, 2022 — 3:01 pm

      Jim Valvano was a masterful storyteller. I laughed, picturing the image of the 21-year-old coach trying to have a presence like legendary coach Vince Lombardi with students who were only a couple years younger than him.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I share your laughter, Pete! I enjoyed three three profound thoughts:laughter, thinking, crying. It is a brilliant trio!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Another pithy, wonderful post, Pete! I’ll save a recap of those whose cancer touched me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor March 25, 2022 — 3:04 pm

      I didn’t go down the avenue of people who have lost pets to cancer—another extensive list of sorrow.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. ty for the shoutout and you are the one who sent me the link to this speech and I have to ty for this incredible gift. I so agree that once you begin to connect and get to know other bloggers, you will fin that many things overlap and connect between all of us. it’s a wonderful community where people feel free to be themselves and let each other into who they are. as for your mom, what an incredibly brave, kind, lovely and friendly soul. you were incredibly lucky to have her as your parent

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor March 25, 2022 — 3:08 pm

      I think the way our parents raised us to show appreciation and gratitude probably reflects why I often write about the special people in my life. Your students are lucky to have such a caring and compassionate teacher.

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      1. I think you are so right. Thank you

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I can tell that you are just as proud of your mon as she was of you. Cancer has taken so many good people. You were very lucky that she beat it and that you got to have her for longer.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor March 25, 2022 — 3:10 pm

      I was most appreciative that Mom retained her sweet and gentle nature even after dementia made it harder to connect with her.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Your Mum sounds a wonderful woman, Pete, and you were indeed lucky to have had so many more years with her. I’ve been lucky so far not to have lost family to cancer, but it has taken some good friends and it leaves a void in our lives when it does that.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor March 25, 2022 — 3:14 pm

      The impact and loss of each of these lives have a far-reaching effect. Think of all the people we become close to during our lifetime.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly. And how many we lose.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. You touched a lot of people with this one Pete…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor March 25, 2022 — 3:17 pm

      Cancer is one of those things that crosses all barriers. It doesn’t matter what someone’s religion, color, ethnicity, wealth is.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. sadly so true…and it touches everyone in some way…

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for another uplifting post, Pete. I think the photo of you and your Mom doing dishes says it all about your relationship. I watched the video you shared and was very moved by it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 25, 2022 — 3:19 pm

      I think it says a lot about Valvano’s character that he was still living life to its fullest and trying to help future generations in his last months of life.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It certainly does. A remarkable human being.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Living in Chapel Hill (UNC), 12 miles from Raleigh (NC State), we knew Valvano well. Winning the national championship may have seemed the pinnacle of his life, but it really was that speech. It still echoes. The V Foundation which supports cancer research is still active and productive. Your mother was (is) a miracle and a saint on earth. We need more people like her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 25, 2022 — 3:22 pm

      I’m sure his words and actions impacted far more people than his basketball coaching did. Leadership is inspiring others to do the same.

      Like

  12. I have lost family members and friends to cancer – it brings tears and sadness. I am so happy your mother fought cancer and went on to enjoy many more years of life. The video was very inspiring for sure. A great post Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 25, 2022 — 7:10 pm

      It’s so widespread that it seems everyone will sadly have to deal with this issue with either family members or friends. As you said, it affects far more people than just the one with the disease.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I love your stories about your parent, Pete! It’s evident that your Mom’s positive rubbed on you and shaped the man you are today. Thanks for this uplifting post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 25, 2022 — 7:14 pm

      The strength of the human spirit is incredible. Rather than feeling self-pity for his situation, I love that Coach Valvano used his platform to try and help save others.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. What an inspiring, touching post Pete! Your Mom sounds so wonderful and I love how proud she was of you and wanted to introduce you to everyone. ❤
    Love her faith and positive attitude which I can tell she passed on to you.
    The speech by Jim sounds like if will definitely be tear jerking. Will be watching it later when alone with my tears. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 25, 2022 — 7:20 pm

      It’s compelling, but his positive attitude is such that I find it more inspiring than heartbreaking. You might shed a few tears, but my overall feeling is I have no right to complain about life’s minor irritants when a guy like this takes his situation and somehow turns it into a positive for others.

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  15. You are lucky to have had such a wonderful mom. Yes, cancer touches all of us. We have had more than our fair share in my family, but we are all survivors! I will watch the speech later. I’ve never seen it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 25, 2022 — 7:21 pm

      Please do, Rosi. It is a remarkable speech mixed with elements of humor but mostly compassion from someone teaching us to live life to the fullest.

      Like

  16. Ugh this one was such a tear jerker in the most amazing way. Your mom sounds like she was something special and her ability to touch your life Both as a child as an adult has allowed you to touch so many others. It’s a beautiful story of resilience and perseverance. I am so thankful that you decided to share this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 25, 2022 — 7:31 pm

      Teaching children who didn’t have enough food, clothing, and wondering where they would sleep that night reinforced how blessed we were. Many teachers feed, clothe, and offer whatever support they can to families behind the scenes, but sometimes the problems were far greater than quick fixes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is incredible work my friend. heartbreaking, rewarding, and inspiring all wrapped into one

        Liked by 1 person

  17. I see you were the favored son – such status as befits the French Maid.
    On a serious note, cancer is so in-your-face-personal. Your Mom faced it with courage and an army of sons at the ready for any eventuality. Quite the testament of a special lady I’d say.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 25, 2022 — 8:04 pm

      Can’t you just hear the commercial? “Aprons come in all patterns and colors for the guy in your life.” 🤣

      It’s a pretty awe-inspiring thought to realize that your mother was the best person you ever knew. Talk about setting the bar high for us.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Well written, Pete! Sharing your family’s journey with cancer can help those whose lives it has not yet touched better understand the depth of emotions that it provokes. Coach V’s emotional speech is moving and powerful, but beyond his words I think the greatest impact was that he lived those words by example.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 26, 2022 — 9:04 am

      The best leaders teach through their actions. Anyone can talk a good game, but leadership means setting the example by actions.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Your dear mother’s faith, love of life, and devotion to her family surely played a major part in her overcoming the most devastating of cancers. God blessed you and your brothers with a wonderful mother, and God blessed your mother with a wonderful family! Thank you for sharing her story so beautifully, Pete. And thank you also for sharing Valvano’s touching speech.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 26, 2022 — 9:07 am

      The ability to listen is an often underappreciated skill. Mom was one of those people that others confided in.

      The Jimmy V foundation is still going strong today. I think he was the definition of courage.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. what a wonderful tribute to your mom – you were both quite lucky to be in each other’s lives.

    and I agree, that Valvano speech is one of the best of all time…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 26, 2022 — 9:10 am

      My wife and I were always thankful that our son grew up around his grandparents. They used to take him for the weekend in their motor home, and they often came to his games, especially when he was playing youth sports.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. lucky indeed, for both the grandparents and your son…

        Liked by 1 person

  21. You’re right that eventually cancer touches everyone in one way or another. I’m glad your mother conquered the disease and lived as long afterwards as she did. I see her kind influence in her son, btw.

    Like

  22. Hi Pete, this is a beautiful post about your mother and her battle with cancer. My mother also had cancer and she had treatment for 2 years (2014 to 2016). It was a terrible time. She has been in remission now for six years.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 26, 2022 — 12:06 pm

      We want to be able to control the things in our lives, but there are other things like cancer that occur through no fault of our own. I’m so happy that your mom made a full recovery.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, and we have to learn to accept that. I am trying to be more accepting of things this year. It is my goal and goes together with patience. I don’t think you can achieve patience without acceptance.

        Liked by 1 person

  23. We learn the strongest messages from those facing incredible life challenges. Thanks for sharing this, Pete. I see your mom in your kind face ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 26, 2022 — 12:13 pm

      I’d like to think that I inherited some of my mom’s best qualities. I’m definitely not as patient as she was, but I’m usually upbeat, a good listener, sensitive to others’ needs, and someone who likes to laugh. All of those qualities were true of Mom.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Inspiring on so many levels, Pete! A beautiful tribute to your mom and to all those who continue to inspire us to encourage and inspire those around us. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 26, 2022 — 3:00 pm

      I know I have a lot of posts similar to this, but I guess that’s the teacher in me coming out, Bette. I often take inspiration from wherever I can find it, and this video of Coach Valvano is incredibly inspiring to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. You mom has endowed you with her positive spirit, her persistence–and her smile. Brava to her; bravo to you!

    Yes, cancer has touched my family: my dad died of lymphoma and my younger brother, of leukemia. Others I know have dire diagnoses, yet they persevere. Thanks for sharing your story, your tribute to your mom, and the video of Jim Valvano. I want to bookmark it because I know it will come in handy to share. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 26, 2022 — 6:05 pm

      Cancer changes lives—not just for the people who have it but for their loved ones and friends. Mom was such a positive spirit and was always uplifting to be around.

      I’m so sorry that cancer has impacted so many in your family, Marian.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. I think we can all see the impact your mother has had on you..a beautiful tribute to your mum, Pete she sounded like such a wonderful role model and mother..love the apron…The speech…Yep…thanks for the shoutout(tissues) alert.. I certainly did ….I hope you have a great Sunday 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 26, 2022 — 10:17 pm

      Indeed, your family was one of the ones I had in mind when writing this post. I am proud of both my parents, and I’m planning one about my dad’s work with endangered species soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, Pete…I look forward to the post about your father you are obviously so proud of both your parents..it breaks my heart when I read about parents who abuse their children…we were lucky my father was strict but he loved us and strove to instill a good work ethos and good manners…my mother was the soft gentle one who gave the cuddles 🙂 x

        Liked by 1 person

  27. As a basketball fan, I’m know the Jim Valvano and NC State story well. His legacy lives on with his foundation. Your mom must have been a great parent and role model. My step dad died of cancer at age 49 — way too young. When you are 16 though 49 seemed almost like old age. In the final years he worked two jobs but I didn’t know he had cancer. I think he knew he didn’t have long and was trying to leave the family as well off financially as he could.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 26, 2022 — 10:21 pm

      Wow, that’s pretty heroic on your stepdad’s part. Yes, it’s funny how our views on age change as we get older. I feel good most of the time. I attribute some of that to taking better care of myself, but reducing stress in my life has helped a lot too.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. I went back and watched the Valvano tape after Beth’s post and it was just as good as I remembered. Learning a little about your mom explains quite a bit about you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 26, 2022 — 10:25 pm

      I considered going back to get my master’s degree at one time, though I’d say the odds are slimmer now. Coming from my family, I had a lot of advantages. If I were to go back to school, I’d like to study why some children who have every reason to fail because of their life circumstances manage to overcome all the obstacles in their lives.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is an excellent topic because many such stories exist.

        Liked by 1 person

  29. You’ve talked at times about your mom, Pete, and what a wonderful person she was (along with your dad), and how grateful you feel to have grown up with them. I’m glad her encounter with cancer had a positive outcome. I agree with you that the disease is unconditionally cruel as it seems to strike down its victims arbitrarily. Thank you for sharing Valvano’s speech. What a beautiful statement and tear-jerker. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 27, 2022 — 11:32 am

      I can’t help but wonder how many people, including myself, would handle Coach Valvano’s situation with such courage. It is inspiring that he thought of others at such a point. I was struck when he said that his daily life had not changed and that he tried to (1) laugh, (2) think, and (3) be moved to tears each day. Powerful stuff!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Very powerful, and something we should all consider doing every day. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  30. Hubby (Steve) walked by as I was listening to the video. “Is that Jimmy Valvano? He was a great coach.” What a speech! I wrote down the three things to do every day- laugh, think, and have your emotions move you to tears. YES!!! I can honestly say my best days are when I belly laugh, think, and cry. Lucky me, I do that often with children in the classroom. You did, too. And now you are reaching out to others to continue teaching and giving. That’s the root of happiness and purpose.

    It’s hard to imagine Jimmy V died shortly after receiving the Arthur Ashe award and giving that wonderful speech. It’s hard to understand that your mother was one who fought the dreaded battle and won. Cancer gives us pause to be thankful and to live our lives to the fullest. Thank you for this terrific post, Pete! P.S. I loved his Vince Lombardi story.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor March 27, 2022 — 11:38 am

      Wasn’t that Lombardi story great, and he tells it so well! I love the picture of a 21-year-old trying to motivate and fire up freshmen basketball players that are only a couple years younger than him. I used to think about that with my son. Some of the guys he played with as a senior in college became his pupils the following year when he began coaching them. Laughing, thinking, and having our emotions moved to tears sounds like a great daily ambition.

      Like

    2. Oh Jennie it is hard to believe Jimmy died so soon after that speech, hard for his loved ones hoping that someone so full of life isn’t really going to die.

      Like

  31. Your mom sounds like a true Earth Angel, and I so appreciate hearing about her and your relationship with her. And yes it’s so crazy how each of us are put here on this Earth, born into such different circumstances. You seem to really have a gift for empathy and compassion and even though your upbringing was so positive, you’re still able to put yourself in other people’s shoes and find a way to lead with kindness. Perhaps something you learned from her? Thanks for being such a positive light in people’s lives and on this platform! 💡 🌞 🕯

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor March 27, 2022 — 11:44 am

      I absolutely think I got the gift of empathy from my mom. My platform was small (a classroom), but I tried to use it to empower and challenge my students to be good people. The most important things I taught children were life lessons. The best way was to lead by example, or I’d be hypocritical. I see writing as an extension of that. I’m trying to write children’s novels, which is my new way of teaching. Thanks for your wonderful comments, Libby.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh I can’t wait to hear more about your writing project with children’s novels yes!!! 🌟

        Liked by 1 person

  32. Hello Pete. I had not heard of Jim and know nothing about basketball, but of course that doesn’t matter. Being positive does not cure you if your diagnosis is not hopeful, but it is the way to live the rest of your time. When I had my diagnosis and the oncologist said treatable and curable I was lucky and not in the same league as people like Jim and our fellow bloggers Sue Vincent and Mary Smith who inspired us as much as Jim with their positivity, blogging to the very end!
    The anonymous experts who actually do research are amazing and we can help only by contributing to research. New treatments and scanning equipment come along, but more research will always be needed because cancer is not one thing, but a vast collection of things that can go wrong with cells!
    Your mother sounds amazing and what a miracle to survive pancreatic cancer, even now days it’s one of the scariest to get.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 27, 2022 — 2:02 pm

      Thanks for leaving such an excellent comment, Janet. Indeed, Sue, Mary, and you were on my mind as I wrote this piece, along with others. No one is immune. As you said, it’s a complex issue. Yet, I’m optimistic that we’ll eventually find a cure and better treatments for it. Cancer is not something anyone should have to go through alone. I’m sure you must have had your down days, but I’ve admired your upbeat nature and ability to maintain a sense of humor throughout.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Pete. Yes you have to make a decision to be positive and others have far worse to contend with. It must be hard if you are young and ill and have to worry about work and child care. Worst part personally was that however great family and friends are I didn’t have the wrap around 24 hour pampering I would have had with my late husband.

        Liked by 1 person

  33. Pete, what a touching tribute to your mom! I loved reading about her and the legacy she left behind in those she helped and in you as well! I always think behind every great man was the first woman who ever loved them unconditionally.. and I know this is true for you and your brothers! She raised such kind-hearted men who went on to make a great difference in this world- this is my ultimate goal as a parent… and you just reminded me of that!

    Thank you for sharing Jimmy Valvano’s speech! It’s so relatable and powerful in its simplicity! I will think of it for years to come!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor March 27, 2022 — 10:12 pm

      I think part of it has to do with being older and maybe because I’ve got more time on my hands, but I find myself thinking a lot more about the future the older I get. We’re all actors and actresses in the play of life, and given the advantages of growing up in a loving family, I feel responsible for contributing something meaningful.

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  34. I think your mom and my mom were very much alike. My mom was a social worker, a great listener, patient, and about the nicest person I’ve ever known. And she was a cancer survivor. Hers was rectal. She was strong during her treatments and surgery and lived happily for years with a colostomy bag, not letting the inconvenience affect her happiness or positive outlook on life in any way. My dads’ cancer was esophageal and he wasn’t as fortunate. He passed away in about half a year. As you point out cancer affects so many of us. It’s a terrible disease and we must find a cure, and so I contribute annually to cancer research. After viewing the moving Jim Valvano speech, which I recall seeing years ago, I’ll give to the Jimmy V foundation this year. Thanks for bringing his speech to my attention, Pete, and thanks to Jimmy V for inspiring me and countless others to find a cure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 28, 2022 — 8:13 am

      When I think of your parents, I remember two people who loved life. Your dad was one of the best teachers I had at Humboldt. He had a wonderful sense of humor and always seemed to have a twinkle in his eye. He had what I would describe as a big personality. Your mom was a lot like mine. It’s probably why they became friends. I don’t ever remember your mom getting mad. She was just a pleasant person. I often wonder how our parents tolerated all those late-night poker games, especially having to listen to guys like me carrying on.

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  35. A very important and inspiring article, Pete, and what a fantastic speech. You’re right, it touches all of us and my sister died aged 59. Your Mum sounds amazing. Toni x

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    1. petespringerauthor March 29, 2022 — 8:47 am

      I’m so sorry that you lost your sister at such a young age. I know that cancer affects us all, and yet that fact is reinforced by all those who have shared a loss.

      Liked by 1 person

  36. Great to hear about your mum recovering from the big C. My mum had it too. Brain cancer. Her battle was tough, but she did succumb to it, since brain cancer has a way of travelling through the nervous system. Just like how Beth shared something that connected with you, so too did you share something that connected with me. Thanks for this, Pete!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 29, 2022 — 3:50 pm

      That’s the lifeblood of blogging—connecting with people. Your post today was a great example of that.

      Liked by 1 person

  37. A moving post for sure Pete, and you hit very close to home. Bless your mom for surviving one of the deadliest cancers. As you know my husband wasn’t so lucky with that same killer. A moving tribute to your mom and Jim. ❤

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    1. petespringerauthor March 29, 2022 — 8:31 pm

      The list of people I know is long, and I don’t think I’m atypical. I sure hope you’re enjoying your vacation time. I’m sure it can’t seem normal without having your hubby there, but it’s good to be surrounded by friends.

      In May, I will fulfill one of my long-held goals travel across the country and spend some time with each of my three older brothers. It’s not lost on me that we need to make our goals happen sooner than later.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Pete. You are so right, far from normal, and the first few weeks were dicey – I almost came home. Then good things came. No spoilers, much to write about upon my return this weekend. And I’m glad to hear you will be making that trip. Never put off for more tomorrows as we all know, tomorrow doesn’t always come. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  38. I remember watching that game in a Holiday Inn hotel, sitting on my bed doing paperwork after a day ‘on the road’. The stunned look on the Houston coaches face was painful to watch. What an ending.

    Your mom’s great outlook in Life likely was a factor in her recovery besides all her support.
    Yes, cancer seems to touch us all personally. Some of us are more fortunate in the type, others. It so much. Progress is being made. Meantime, enjoy life and the friends we make along the way.
    Excellent post, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 30, 2022 — 8:42 am

      One thing I’ve noticed about the people in my life who have recovered from cancer is they have an extra appreciation for the simple things in life. They take nothing for granted. Even though I’ve never had cancer or Covid, I feel that way. I don’t know if it’s related to age, but I appreciate the joys of spending time with friends just a little more.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well said, Pete. 5 yrs ago, the hematologist said to me, and I kid you not, “I have good news for you. Well, you may not think so but you have something called ‘hairy cell leukemia’ “. After the initial ‘huh’, he tol me the good news. “It’s very treatable, a week of mild chemo and it goes away for 10 yrs”. So far, so good with regular doc visits. Important to get regular physicals, even for you young fellows 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  39. Such a heartfelt and heart-warming post, Pete. I’m sure you have inherited a lot of your mom’s kind personality and positive characteristics. Hopefully, not her genes if that was what caused her cancer. It’s fabulous that she survived and fully recovered. I’m so happy for you and your family! As you know, we’ve had close encounters with cancer as well. Living a healthy lifestyle or still being young sometimes doesn’t matter…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 31, 2022 — 7:10 pm

      Mom has since passed, but she lived a full life with many rich adventures. She was a person who always tried to see the bright side of things, and I’m sure some of that rubbed off on me, though honestly, I’m not as easygoing as she was. I think I inherited some of her better traits, though, and like both my parents, I try to contribute in multiple ways to my community.

      Yes, it seems doubly unfair when someone young or who has made good choices their entire life gets cancer. Hopefully, the next generation doesn’t have to have this discussion.

      Liked by 1 person

  40. Yes cancer touches many of us, myself included. I’ve been fortunate to have been in remission from stage 4 thyroid cancer for 5 years now. We never say we’re cured, because yes, it can come back again. At the moment I’m happy I haven’t got it. Your mother was obviously a very courageous lady.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 2, 2022 — 7:47 am

      You’ve shared your journey on your blog. I have to imagine it provides you with a different perspective and appreciation for life than most people will never know.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It does indeed. Every day is a bonus.

        Liked by 1 person

  41. Wow. I’m surprised and impressed that she fought pancreatic cancer. Kev and I often talk about how we’ll just accept the end if that one comes up -he lost a close relative last year to it.

    I love how you describe your mother as well. Being a boy mom is a hard thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 2, 2022 — 7:50 am

      My dad had a lot of great qualities too, but Mom was the nurturing parent. It has affected me my entire life, and I tried to bring the same approach into my classroom. It’s no secret that people want to feel loved and appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  42. You are the son of two very special people, Pete. You have done well to honour both.
    Sadly, I couldn’t see the video here. I’ll see if I can find it on YouTube.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor August 28, 2022 — 8:06 am

      I feel a certain responsibility to carry forth their legacy. Even though they’ve passed, I still frequently run into people who have kind things to say about them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s wonderful, Pete. It must be so nice for you – and them.

        Liked by 1 person

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