By Susan Klie Corfman, 55, Poolesville, occupational therapist
He became my hero when his little fingers pushed into my neck and found a tumor. After surgery to remove the tumor, doctors diagnosed cancer. I was scheduled for six weeks of radiation.
Receiving a cancer diagnosis was terrifying, and I was eager to begin the treatments. To ensure that the radiation hit the target spots, my head and neck had to be kept absolutely still. A porous plastic mask of my face was made, and each day the mask was placed over my face and bolted to the treatment table on which I lay. Then a huge, noisy machine would move toward me. It delivered lifesaving radiation but seemed like a monster. I was horrified, and panicked. My heart raced, and I hyperventilated.
During each treatment, I kept this 1-inch-tall Spider-Man in my pants pocket. It reminded me of my own little superhero. I would hold Spidey and think of my love for my son, family, friends and life. Little Spider-Man gave me courage.
That was 16 years ago. Our son is off exploring the world, and our daughter is entering her teenage years. I keep Spidey in the jewelry box on my dresser. Occasionally I take him out, hold him in the palm of my hand, and am grateful.
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