A Cancer spell can’t stop Disney and Hogwarts

Jon Acton
4 min readJun 15, 2022

A Cancer spell can’t stop Disney and Hogwarts

On Christmas Day of 2019 my wife and I gave our two boys handmade tickets for a trip to Disneyworld and Hogwarts, aka the Magic Kingdom and Universal Studios. No specific dates were chosen but our goal was to make the magical trip in the Fall of 2019, or at the latest the Spring of 2020. Life must have snorted out loud in laughter at our plans.

The world cruelly changed in March of 2020 due to Covid. Death, sickness, fear and panic became the unfortunate Covid norm. There would be no “Hot Dog Dances” with Mickey and Minnie, no magical spells from Dumbledore and Harry Potter. Everything was on pause as the world took a lot longer than two weeks to “flatten the curve.”

Because a global pandemic did not create enough chaos in our lives, my body decided to add stage 3 rectal cancer to our “new normal.” Instead of my boys seeing the iconic castles of Cinderella and Hogwarts, they watched their dad lose 65 pounds due to chemo, radiation and more chemo. Spring of 2020, became a mind numbing endless cycle from summer to fall to winter to spring with no end in sight. Time passed through one unbearable treatment after another and all of 2021 became we are not sure if this trip will ever happen. Being completely honest, I had to admit that this trip may need to take place after I was gone. And yet, my boys never complained. Not one time did they even bring up the trip, although I knew they were extremely disappointed.

Fast forward to February of 2022 and all Cancer treatments are complete. For now. We live an interesting existence in what our family calls “Bonus Time.” My oncologist dropped words of wisdom every bit as pertinent as Plato by urging us to, “Don’t just sit around waiting on the bad news.” Wait around helplessly for the relentless cancer enemy to return bigger and madder than before or intentionally live our lives making the most of each “bonus day.” We have chosen the second option which has led us to the long delayed magical trip.

In June of 2022, our family drove 16 hours from Indiana to central Florida. The travel wasn’t nearly as eventful as the Griswold Family’s Vacation trip to Wally World. Aunt Edna wasn’t strapped to the roof of our car and Christie Brinkley in her red Ferrari never pulled alongside the family truckster. The best I saw was a red-haired truck driver hauling RC Cola’s and Moon Pies.

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Jon Acton

Husband, Father, Former School Superintendent, National Blue Ribbon School Principal, Teacher, Coach, Author in progress