The Big C

A journey through Stage Four Cancer

The Lesson of the Purple Medicine

on January 27, 2011

Once upon a time, in a far off land called Sag Harbor, there was a little boy named Michael who was very sick.  His throat hurt to swallow, his ears hurt and his head pounded.  His mother said to herself “Enough of this!” and bought him to their favorite doctor, Doctor Semlear.

Dr Semlear confirmed what that incredibly young mother feared, her son was sick and needed medication.  So the good doctor wrote her out a prescription and sent Michael and his mother on their way.

Once this kind and dedicated mother returned home, she put her little boy to bed, resting his head on a soft pillow and making sure the room was dark and the house was quiet so that Michael could sleep.

She asked her equally kind spouse if he would go to the drugstore and have the prescription filled so that their soon might start to get well again.  The kind father left immediately!

At the drugstore, there was a sign that advertised, that for a measly $2 extra, the pharmacist could flavor the icky medicine any of these flavors; grape, orange, cherry, strawberry, or mint.  Knowing that Michael loved grape flavor, the father gladly paid the $2 extra.

After the father bought the medicine home, the good mother bought the medicine to her little son.  She said “Michael, even though this medicine smells so delicious, you may only have it three times a day when your mommy gives it to you.  You must NOT ever take it out of the refrigerator and give it to yourself.  No matter how much you like it.”

Michael promised that he would not ever touch the medicine bottle by himself.

His mother explained how this medicine would destroy all the bad germs that were making him feel sick, and that soon he would feel well again.  His mother measured out the medicine and thought “Wow, this stuff smells good! It’s making me want a grape soda!”

The good mother put the medicine in Michael’s mouth, to which he immediately spit it out and began to cry “Yucky! Iwwwwwwww!”

The mother was so puzzled!  “No Michael, the medicine tastes delicious!  Daddy paid money for it to be delicious!”

Michael clamped his mouth shut and shook his head “NO!”

In the age old way that parents have tried to convince their children that something is delicious, Mommy said  “Look Daddy likes it right Daddy?”  She had a little medicine on a spoon, to which Daddy answered in a very, very low voice “I’m not trying it.”

There was nothing to do, except for Mommy to try the medicine.  So she did!  The medicine was unmistakably vile!  It smelled like delicious grapes, but had an awful bitter aftertaste that just would not go away!  And it was slimy!  Mommy almost threw up!

So mommy said to Michael  “I know the medicine is awful!  But you have to take it, it is the only way you will ever get better.”

Michael shook his head no and said “Icky!”

Mommy said “I know it tastes icky.  But if you don’t take it, the bad germs will keep on multiplying and you will get sicker and sicker.  I am your parent, and you know that I love you.  You know that I would never hurt you, and only do things that are good for you.  You are going to have to trust me about the yucky medicine.”

Then Mommy gave Michael the medicine again and even helped him to not throw it up again by putting her hand over his mouth and having a big glass of water waiting for him so he could wash the taste out of his  mouth.

Michael trusted his parents, took the medicine and got better.


God is the parent, and the yucky medicine is cancer.  I trust God to give me the yucky medicine, because I know that He wouldn’t do anything to hurt me.  He only wants me to get better.   I don’t know how the medicine will work, but that is okay because I am not the parent.  I am only His child.

Please keep praying for my family and I, and everyone else who is struggling with this monster.



2 responses to “The Lesson of the Purple Medicine

  1. I am so sorry to hear of your illness and wish you a recovery full of blessings. It was so nice of you to include Dr Semlear my husband in your blog. So many times people complain or do not compliment. When I tell him about the story you wrote he will be pleased. I would have liked this on Facebook but I had to close it yesterday due to people breaking into it and adding friends and posting on by behalf. Again more power to your fight against this unfair disease and i wish you strength and courage.
    Diana Semlear

  2. The Big C says:

    Dear Diana,
    Hello! Please say hello to Dr Semlear for me! I’m glad you stopped by my blog and commented. Thankyou for your wellwishes. Dr Semlear has always been, and will always be my favorite doctor. He listens to everything the patient says without making a snap decision, so I always trusted his diagnosis. He never rushed us into antibiotics. He always listened to my fears, about tick bites, about the MMR etc and discussed it with me without looking down his nose at me. Dr Semlear is the type of dr you wish you could bring withyou when you move!


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