Just Because I Have Blood Cancer

As a retired elementary teacher, I enjoy reading aloud to second graders as a monthly volunteer project. Despite technology, children still enjoy being read to. I recently reviewed Just Because by actor Matthew McConaughey and illustrated by Renee Kurilla. With its clever and funny collection of life lessons, this book celebrates our potential and inspires us to embrace life's possibilities. I found it relevant to our journey as blood cancer patients, so I took the liberty of adapting it.

Relating a children's book to blood cancer

We face unique challenges as blood cancer patients. Yet, we demonstrate resilience, continually navigating our days with determination. I think sometimes we focus too much on what we didn't accomplish in a day instead of what we managed to do!

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Just because

Just because most people do not understand my diagnosis of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) doesn't mean I am not authentic. No way could I make up this disease! I had to learn how to pronounce, spell, and explain it!

Just because someone is unkind doesn't mean I should act the same way. Hurting people say hurtful things.

Just because someone tries to label me doesn't mean I accept it. Small minds talk about other people.

Just because I'm quiet doesn't mean I'm shy or unfriendly. Haven't you heard? Still waters run deep.

Just because I am alone doesn't mean I can't be happy. Abraham Lincoln said, "Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be."

Aging with MDS

Just because I am tired doesn't mean I can't do a job. I can make a plan, work it out, and finish it. Slow, but sure!

Just because my work is not perfect doesn't mean it isn't good. Consistency is more important than perfection. Too often, we procrastinate because we want our work to be perfect.

Just because I am cautious doesn't mean that I am not capable. Trust me, thinking is a good thing. Never underestimate a retired elementary teacher.

Just because I'm not moving as fast as I used to doesn't mean I am not making progress. Life is not a foot race but a journey.

Just because I am no longer young doesn't mean I can't contribute. My body may move slower, and sometimes, I am too tired to think, but I can still plan and create. The famous artist Grandma Moses began painting in earnest when she was 78 years old!

Just because there are days when I need to rest doesn't mean I have given up. Butterflies know to take shelter in the rain.

Surviving with blood cancer

Just because I have blood cancer doesn't mean I am angry. God doesn't make junk, and He has a plan.

Just because my predicted life expectancy is limited doesn't mean that it is correct. Numbers on a page do not dictate the future. Life is full of surprises, and we should always hold onto hope and the possibility of a brighter tomorrow.

Just because I have blood cancer doesn't mean my life is ending. It means I am surviving.

How would you write your version of Just Because?

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