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邢军:勇于相信并创造奇迹

 
作者:邢军,现任礼来制药全球市场准入高级总监,也是一个粉丝众多的高产“文字工作者”,曾应邀在E药经理人杂志发表过三十篇“邢走职场”专栏文章,也曾在奴隶社会发表多篇文章,见文末。人生信条是“生活就是用来热爱的”。
 
一诺写在前面:
 
邢军是我的好朋友。职场上是能力超群的女性领导,极其有情趣、有才华。三年以前,她10岁的二儿子被诊断出脑瘤。同为母亲,我很难想象她都经历了什么。文末推荐的前三篇文章,是当年邢军写的。本周是乐乐和癌症作斗争三年的纪念。邢军把这些年的经历和经验写下来, 我觉得对我们每个人,面对人生的起起落落,都是无价之宝。谢谢邢军,祝福乐乐。
 
作者前言:
 
三个月前, 我有幸受邀作了一场 TED 演讲,讲的是我的亲身经历和真实故事,中心思想是坚定的信念,积极正向的态度和勇于坚持的精神如何帮助我们在决定中挑战不可能。我一直坚信,勇敢的人,不是从不落泪的人,而是愿意含着眼泪继续奔跑的人。为母则刚,作为妈妈,必须做好家里的精神领袖,接住生活扔过来的各种凌厉怪招。演讲是全英文的,今天附上英文视频,根据视频整理的英文讲稿,以及中文译稿。需要说明的是,中文译稿并非逐字翻译的,而是尊重了中文的语境和表达方式,略加改编。
 
演讲中文稿:
 
今天我要与大家分享的是发生在我家的奇迹以及我心目中四个英雄的故事。
 
在家里,我是唯一的女性,纯粹的少数分子。我先生,十七岁的儿子星星, 十三岁的儿子乐乐,以及一个可爱贴心的小男狗瑞斯,都是清一色的雄性动物。看着我们其乐融融的全家福,很难想象老二乐乐是个脑瘤患者,更难以想象我们一起走过的三年的艰苦治疗恢复旅程。
 
三年前,几乎是毫无征兆地,乐乐被诊断为脑瘤,情况危急,治疗方案异常残酷:先是大型脑部手术,紧接着六个星期的放射治疗,再接上六个周期三药联合大化疗,还有后面不知尽头的维持治疗。这些挑战,搁在任何一个成年人身上,都是难以承受之痛,却一股脑地倾泻在当时刚满十岁的乐乐的小身板上。乐乐,这个了不起的勇敢小战士,不仅忍受了术后长达一个月之久的莫名疼痛,还坚强地耐受了暂时性失语以及身体协调,进食等多个基本功能的丧失。由于放化疗的叠加副作用,乐乐处于持续的恶心呕吐状态,为保证营养,我们迫不得已用了鼻饲,整整十五个月的时间里,塑料管子从鼻腔插入胃里,乐乐克服种种不适以及常人难以想像的困难,坚持了下来。
 
乐乐苦中找乐,放疗中带着鼻饲管去参与万圣节活动
 
放化疗联手掠夺走了乐乐的满头黑发,却未能夺走乐乐的积极向上,不向命运低头的精神。他发挥创意,寻找快乐, 让自己在承受病痛的日子里尽可能地有些色彩。他在放疗最艰苦的时候,不忘去想办法寻找庆祝万圣节的奇装异服,他去央求理疗师把绿色制服借给他,于是就有了一个穿着制服的光头小身影,在医院的各个病区去讨糖并参与庆祝活动。
 
乐乐的专利发明:柚子皮帽
 
家里买了沙田柚,乐乐独具创意地把柚子皮精心加工成帽子,遮住小光头,还声称他是世界上独一无二的柚子皮帽子专利发明人。因为乐观,希望的祥云一直笼罩着乐乐;因为乐观,在治疗的路上我们屡屡得以闯关。
 
老大星星在弟弟治疗的艰苦历程中起到了至关重要的作用。他在高中一年级的十二个月的时间里,为了配合弟弟的治疗,辗转了三个学校,离开熟悉的朋友,融入新的环境,牺牲和同龄朋友社交的机会,竭尽全力给弟弟提供情感支持和身心陪伴。更为难得的是,在我和先生无暇顾及他学业,生活上也对他疏于照顾的情况下,他把种种不利因素照单全收,在过去三年中成绩全优,并多次获奖,并挤出时间组织和领导各种课外活动,还在刚满十六岁的时候就以满分成绩拿到驾照,获得了天马行空独立出行的资格,进一步帮我和先生分担了接送之繁琐。
 
哥哥扶持弟弟,狗狗亦步亦趋
 
星星亲眼目睹了弟弟接受的来自各方的帮助,这激发了他回馈社会的热情和责任。连续几个暑假,他发挥自己特长,帮助有需要的的孩子及弱势群体,得到了他所服务的多个机构的交口称赞。血浓于水的亲情,与年龄不相称的高成熟度,积极向上的心态,不畏困难的精神,星星所有这些优秀品质,让我和先生减少了后顾之忧,使我们在照顾乐乐的过程中可以全力以赴,不必瞻前顾后。因为我们知道, 星星有能力自产能量,自带光芒。
 
孩子的爸爸,我的先生是我的真心英雄。乐乐确诊后,我们做了一个家庭决定,先生放弃工作,离开职场,我们启动了我负责赚钱养家,他负责照顾病娃的伙伴模式。这种有悖于常态的家庭关系是对夫妻关系的另类挑战。 三十年的相知相恋相爱相守,这样的伙伴关系,在风和日丽之时看到的可能是岁月静好,而在这段特殊的与死神决斗的雨雪交加的旅途中,体现更多的是愈久弥坚,固若金汤。我们彼此呵护,取长补短,心有灵犀,不点也通。他练就了多数女性都没有的极端细心及直觉,我速成了一般男人都未必具备的镇定和胆量。我俩都很明白,如果我们两个人都能把自己性别以外的异性优势兼具,我们每人同时具有父和母的全能特质,那么合在一起,就等于把我俩的智慧和能量加倍,乐乐就有了加倍的希望。
 
我们的狗狗瑞斯作为特殊的家庭成员,在乐乐的治疗恢复中功不可没。一年半前,乐乐在动物庇护所网站与瑞斯一见钟情,瑞斯虽然长相普通,出身贫寒,却是我们家的小福星。他聪明伶俐,善解人意,以动物特有的直觉,在乐乐恢复的不同阶段,该安抚时恭顺,该尽兴时撒欢儿,无师自通,恪尽职守。真是应了那句话:狗是人类最忠实的朋友。
 
从乐乐确诊至今,这场无硝烟的战役已经打了三年,我们一起创造了奇迹。乐乐顽强地生存了下来,并重返校园。这场艰苦的旅程一路走来, 我们依靠的是强烈的信念,持久的坚持精神, 无数好心人的帮助以及上天赐予的好运,所有这些陪我们度过了一个个不眠之夜和无数个难熬的治疗阶段。我将经验总结了四条,分享给大家。
 
第一,坚定信念,才有可能让奇迹变成现实。
 
面临巨大挑战时,告诉自己,可以“迷信”一点。因为信念可以转换为力量, 我们只有在下意识水平去相信,奇迹才有可能变成现实。信念的强弱直接影响结果的胜负。在乐乐的治疗恢复过程中,我们用多种方法强化我们的必胜信念。
 
例如,9的中文发音是持久的久,有活得长久的意思;我们搬家到印第安纳州后,我到车管局去申请车牌,我和负责的女士简单地讲了乐乐的现状,并对她进行了中国文化小科普,结果那位女士欣然同意把999的车牌特批给我,真是天佑乐乐!我的工作需要频繁出差。只要有可能,我在酒店总是要求219房间,因为219的中文发音的意思是“儿子能长寿”。再比如,双彩虹在许多文化中都象征着好运,双彩虹比较罕见,并且停留时间很短。乐乐的化疗第三个周期时,我幸运地在家门口与双彩虹相遇,激动地拍下了几张照片,我太需要这个大自然给予的无声鼓励了!还比如,红色在东方文化中象征着一切美好,据我所知,中国的股市是世界上唯一的在股价上升时显示红色的地方,其他市场都是沿用红绿灯概念,绿色代表上行。过去三年,我为家里买了不少红色物件,我更是红上衣红裙子红钱包红提包等等把自己用红色武装到了牙齿。理由很简单,我要让红色随处可见,让红色代表的好运与我们亦步亦趋。
 
这桩桩件件充满仪式感的小事,帮助我们在无助的时刻充电满格,迎头再战。信念是高能的推手,是无声的原动力,用好它,追求奇迹。
 
第二,减少负能量消耗,想办法改善睡眠,拆解压力,依靠朋友,寻求帮助。
 
当我们遭遇重大不幸时,负面情绪具有巨大弥散性,如果不及时掌控它,很可能就沦为它的奴隶,接受它的指使及摆布。我们需要刻意付出努力,做自己情绪的主人。
 
乐乐治疗的初期,我和先生曾经情绪紧张,焦虑失眠,我们发现这样下去不行,身体会被拖垮,于是果断开始服用助眠药,并开始启动系统工程排解焦虑。我用写作来让思想集中到病痛以外的世界,用户外跑步把压力释放给蓝天白云。
 
作者过去三年写了一百二十多篇文章,消耗了这二十多个草稿本
 
过去三年我写了一百二十多篇散文随笔,不少被发表,从职场经验到家庭琐事,从教育子女到辅导员工,从旅行散记到趣味对话,写作素材包罗万象,想哪儿写哪儿,一气呵成,才不管什么读者是上帝,随性的写意的才是最真实的,而真实是散文的灵魂。知心的朋友从世界各地送来各种花式赞赏,激励我得空即提笔,汇诸笔端的是思考的精华,随键盘敲走的是各种垃圾情绪。我先生学会了瑜伽,并爱上了平板锻炼,他小试牛刀,竟可以坚持平板近八分钟。重压生活下的这些小乐趣,如马拉松长跑中的供给站,加油加能量,帮我们有效累积了可持续战斗力。
 
在这种艰苦的不知终点的长期战役中,除了发掘自我战斗力,借助外力也至关重要。对于不幸,有人选择三缄其口,因为有诸多顾虑。比如有人把不幸视为受伤,不愿暴露伤口;也有人认为不幸属于隐私,不便外传;亦有人担心家里的麻烦外传对自己的职业发展有影响,怕万一上司想当然地认为自己的敬业度及工作业绩会受影响,诸如此类。
 
凡事都有利弊。我认为,对好友及工作关系密切的同事,可以考虑分享,不仅仅因为这世上好人居多,多数人乐于施予援手,还因为友人中的智者可能把话说到点子上,扫除我们的认知盲点。更何况,我们积攒的压力和情绪下脚料都需要一个发泄出口。当然,请适度使用友情张力,勿做现代版祥林嫂。
 
第三,正视现实,做好取舍,果断行动,绝不后悔。
 
乐乐生病,使我们全家不得不面对许多我们不愿面对的事实。我们意识到命运残酷,必须接招,然而我们更清楚地意识到,就像林肯总统曾经说过的,放弃才注定失败,不放弃就有希望。我们是孩子的天,天不能塌。我们必须在噩运包围时抱有能杀出一条血路的信心,哪怕这意味着我们要做出诸多牺牲, 就像我先生必须放弃工作,就像星星必须在短时间内去适应三所风格完全不同的学校, 克服心理障碍,结交新的朋友,在新的环境中卓越表现,去重新建立个人品牌。再好像星星曾经是美国羽毛球青少年组的前几名,我们却不得不暂停他坚持多年的训练和比赛,因为我们搭不上时间接送。更别提在乐乐的化疗当中,星星突破重重竞争,获得了去耶鲁大学参加国际辩论赛最后一轮的比赛资格,而我们决定放弃,因为我们正在全力以赴, 为乐乐的生存而战。
 
现在回头想想,我们是否事事决策正确,是否有许多事可以做得更好? 答案是:我们肯定不是百分之百正确,肯定这里那里有纰漏。但那又怎么样呢?这场战役已经打得很苦,我们干嘛对自己那么苛刻,过去的所有对的错的让它随风飘去,人生没有如果,只有结果和后果,后悔在任何时候都于事无补。更何况我们都不笨,当时当刻做的决策就是最佳决策。向前看,为自己点赞,选择聚焦在今天和明天,以积极的姿态去迎接新的挑战,才是打赢下一场战役的最正能量。
 
第四,保持感恩的心态。
 
感恩是坚持精神的可持续来源。有了这个心态,我们从不幸中发掘出许多万幸, 把自己从悲伤哀叹中解放出来, 集中精力去做那些真正有用的事。
 
比如,我们庆幸我们还算细心,在明显症状出现之前发现了问题;比如我和先生都是生物学博士,我们有能力参与到各种治疗方案的讨论中;再比如,得益于我曾经分管过抗肿瘤业务,对最新药物,治疗方法以及行内专家都耳熟能详;还比如,在公司里,我的领导和同事都是通情达理之人,他们在整个过程中不断给我鼓励,我自始至终被温暖包围。
 
来自朋友和同事的一点一滴的帮助在他们看来貌似举手之劳,但对我们小家来说,累积起来,在我们闯关的路上却是最好的助力器。这种帮助,可以是在朋友家吃的一桌热气腾腾的饭菜;可以是深夜里收到的一则关怀短信;可以是约我喝十分钟的咖啡,问问我家里还需要什么;可以是贴心姐们从地球的另一端采买辅助药物,托另一姐们不远万里扛到美国;还可以是朋友一个结实的大熊抱,指尖传来的温度让我在数九寒天暖心暖肺;更可以是朋友自觉自愿帮我查阅各种最新文献,反复商讨治疗方案。这样的关怀不计其数,这样的给予使我们在奔跑的路上不再觉得孤单。
 
创造奇迹的根本在于勇于坚持,就是具有坚韧的精神。我们每个人都有潜力成为自己的坚韧升级版。无论是作为家庭的一员还是作为职场的一分子,如果每个人都努力把自己变成那个升级后的抗造版,世界将不负于我们,时间也会犒赏勇者。
 
以下为英文原文:
 
Dare to Believe You Can Make Miracles Happen
 
Today I am going to share a story of my four heroes and how we made miracles happen. There are 4 boys in my family: my husband Steve, my older son Justin, who is turning 17 and my younger son Larry, who is turning 13, and a lovely dog named Reese. From the picture, you might not be able to tell that Larry is a brain tumor survivor. 33 months ago, Larry was diagnosed with brain tumor, this news came as a thunderbolt out of a blue sky.  The location of the tumor suggested it was not benign, the prognosis was not good, the treatment was a brutal one that included major brain surgery followed by many rounds of radiation and chemo therapies and altogether it took more than a year. We went through all of these. 33 months later, I am standing here sharing how our family worked as a team and helped Larry fight through this devastating disease.
 
Larry is a fighter. He suffered through the unknown post-surgery pain that tortured him for almost a month, he tolerated multiple treatments that led to temporarily loss of many functions including speaking, eating and dressing. He managed to live with the nasal gastric tube for 15 months as he was not able to eat at all due to constant nausea. Despite these tough challenges, Larry never lost his courage to fight and he never lost his beautiful smile. He always looked for things to cheer himself up. During his radiation therapy in late 2014, he was barely able to stand, he still tried to look for a creative way to celebrate Halloween, he borrowed the physical therapist uniform and he used that uniform as his Halloween costume. When he re-learned to eat, it was a very tough task as his stomach refused to take solid food, he claimed victory after he swallowed every single piece of French fry. Chemo wiped away his hair but never wiped away his sense of humor. He made jokes about his bald head and hand made a hat with pomelo skin, by the way, pomelo is an eastern version of grapefruit. Larry always had hope and made wishes. In thanksgiving time of 2015, he made a wish to have a dog, a month and half later, we adopted our dog Reese. The good thing of having wishes is: once he has a wish, people all strive to help him materialize it, and that brings satisfaction and happiness, which helps the immune system fighting cancer.
 
My older son Justin is a hero. Justin is not a stereotypical teenager. Justin grew up significantly through this challenging time. Due to Larry’s treatment, he had to transition through three schools in a 12-month period of time during his freshman year. He sacrificed a lot of his playing time with his peers and became Larry’s best game partner and play mate. He probably also took some unfair blame from us when we were stressed out, but he never took it personal, his brotherhood, his love and his maturity was very critical during Larry’s fighting journey.
 
My husband Steve is a true hero. After Larry’s diagnosis, he quit his job and became Larry’s 24/7 caregiver and a multi-tasking father. He is a chef, a nurse, a pharmacist, he is also a physical therapist, a teacher and a playmate. Steve took on this tough task and has been Larry’s strongest source of strength.  
 
Reese, our dog we adopted on Jan. 9th 2016, is a very important member of Larry’s fighting team. In the past 1.5 years, Reese took away lots of stressful times for my family. The level of joy he brought exceeded our highest expectation. Reese became Larry’s companion day and night. Amazingly, Reese understands Larry’s ups and downs, and offered the best comfort that humans may not be able to do.
 
Larry’s battle was the toughest battle we ever fought. What we have achieved so far is a true miracle, Larry was back to school and has been making continuous progress in his recovery. This journey took many sleepless nights, many strong beliefs, a huge amount of resilience and good luck. Here are the four secrets that worked for us to make the miracles happen.
 
First, strengthen your beliefs to form a new reality.
 
When we handle tough challenges, it is OK to be a bit superstitious. The beliefs are the strength. What we believe determines what we make true. What we take to be true at subconscious level becomes reality. It is the strong belief that makes all the difference. We found ways to strengthen our beliefs that Larry would make it. Here are a couple examples: the number 9 in Chinese pronunciation means long lived. When I got my new car, I asked for the 999 license plate and the BMV lady was touched by my story and gave the plate to me. Since then, every day when I drive, I drive with the strong belief that Larry will be long-lived. I travel a lot for work, when I check in a hotel, I always ask for room 219 if possible, as the pronunciation of 219 in Chinese means “my son will live long”. That provides comfort when I am away from home. In many cultures, a double rainbow means good luck. It is very rare to see and it stays only for seconds or minutes. When Larry was in treatment, I saw the double rainbow and I took this precious picture. Since then we had another reason to believe that good luck will be with us. In eastern culture, red means many good things including happiness, fortune and good luck. You might not know, but the Chinese stock market is the only place where when a stock goes up, it shows red instead of green. After Larry got sick, I bought a lot of red things for myself and my family members. My goal was to make red easily visible to everyone in my house. Every day the red constantly reminds us to stay positive. All of these strengthened our core belief that good things will happen.  
 
Secret number two, do not let the worry or negativity consume you, find ways to sleep well, distract yourself, stay connected with people and ask for help. When we face adversity, it could become pervasive, all of sudden, everything in life becomes awful because of one unfortunate event. It takes a lot of conscious effort to drag ourselves out of the negativity. During Larry’s treatment, Steve and I lost many nights of sleep, we decided to use a sleep aid. Both Steve and I found ways to distract ourselves, I used writing and Steve used exercise. I am a professional writer and I wrote hundreds of essays, many of them were published and I had numerous followers. The feedback from my followers inspired me, encouraged me and motivated me. Steve started to practice Yoga and plank exercise and that helps relieve his stress. When we face deep adversity such as significant disease, often people choose to keep it private, especially at work, as they worry people may doubt their commitment at work and impact career development opportunities. It is true that there are many legitimate reasons to keep the challenges private, but my experience of sharing the challenges with friends and colleagues has been very positive, because those who care about us wanted to help, and we needed help. Sometimes, when one bad news is followed by another, we are swallowed up in a fog of helplessness and the pressure simply needs an exit. In situations like this, bringing your whole self to work, showing your vulnerability and accepting the help not only makes sense, but also is critical to keep our own well-being so we will be able to accumulate sustainable strength and energy to cope with the long term challenge.
 
Secret number three, acknowledge the difficult situation, make rational trade-offs and never regret your decisions. Larry’s event has changed my family profoundly in many ways. We learned the brutality of the possible child loss. But more importantly, we learned that, as Abraham Lincoln said: you cannot fail unless you quit. It did not take long for me and Steve to understand that our mentality affects Larry’s confidence. If we are strong, Larry is strong. If we are hopeful, Larry has more hope. Miracles can happen only if we dare to fight.  Fighting a devastating disease is expensive and we made many trade off decisions to make Larry’s treatment our top priority. Steve had to suspend his career, Justin, besides changing school three times in 12 months, as a national badminton award winner, he had to suspend his favorite sport as we did not have time to drive him to practice. In the middle of Larry’s chemo therapy, Justin qualified for the final rounds of a prestigious debate competition at Yale University, but we were not able to send Justin as we were fighting for Larry’s survival. Now thinking back, is there anything we could have done differently or better? I am sure there was. But we chose to move on and never looked back. The bottom line is: whatever we did, we made it through. We focus on looking ahead and getting ready for more challenges and more wins.  
 
The most powerful secret is to be grateful. Finding gratitude and appreciation is key to resilience. Larry’s event helped us find deeper gratitude. With gratitude, we realized things could be much worse and we were actually on a better path. With gratitude, we got motivated as we knew we had helpers fighting with us. We were grateful that we had good parents’ instinct, we identified the problem before significant symptoms. I was grateful that my company gave me an opportunity to lead our oncology business unit so I was knowledgeable in the oncology space and was well-connected with the physicians. I am grateful to the leaders and team members for their unconditional support and trust. We were grateful to our colleagues who have offered many seemingly insignificant help that made a huge difference. That help could be a dinner at a colleague’s house when we were new to Indy, that help could be an email asking for Larry’s update on a late Thursday night, knowing Larry had a MRI and follow up visit that day. That help could be as short as a 10-minute quick check-on how my family was doing. That help could also be as long as thousands of miles, when a friend hand carried a locally made dietary supplement for Larry from the other side of the world. That help could be as simple as a warm hug, could also be as time-consuming and complicated as offering help in reviewing Larry’s medical history and spending hours with thought leaders on Larry’s treatment plan. The list goes on and on.     
 
The essence of “dare to make miracles happen” is resilience. We are not born with the fixed amount of resilience. Resilience is something we can build up. We all have the potential to become a more resilient version of ourselves. If everyone of us does that, our organization will be more resilient. Failure is a natural part of our business, we have had drugs failed after more than 10 years of effort, that drug will not be the last one that fails. But the important thing is we learn from the failure and move on. As the drug development, commercialization and pricing environment becomes increasingly difficult around the globe, our organization’s resilience is more critical than ever and the company’s resilience relies on every one of us. Today, I shared my 4 secretes to make miracles happen and may I ask you to come up with yours. If we all strive to become a hero, our company will be a hero, and the patients we serve such as Larry will be heroes.
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