Friday night I attended the Relay for Life event in Moses Lake. It was a wonderful event that I am very passionate about. I was handed a purple shirt to wear along with a purple lei, a survivor pin and a survivor medal. I’ve attended several events but never in a million years did I ever think I’d be attending a Relay for Life event as a survivor. They began the event by lining up all the survivors to take the first lap. I took the survivor walk. As I walked, there was a cheering from the crowd for those of us who made it. It was a very emotional experience for me as I walked around the track. There were people cheering us on and exuded so much support it was overwhelming.
As I walked around the track the reality of cancer really hit me. None of my family was there to cheer me on, yet all these strangers were all to willing to recognize not only my journey but the journey of all the survivor’s I was blessed to be in the company with. I’m a grateful survivor but Friday night as I walked around that track, I couldn’t help but think of all those who weren’t as lucky. I found myself walking not as a survivor, rather in honor of the strong men and women who fought the fight but didn’t make it.
As I fought cancer, I met so many wonderful people. In my experience, those fighting cancer are the strongest people I’ve ever met in my life. People always say, “God never gives us more than we can handle”. If that’s true, then anyone who battles cancer is one strong person in God’s eyes because I’m here to tell you, it’s tough business. I’m a strong woman but cancer brought me to my knees!
There are so many people who have touched my life that have lost their battle to cancer. Recently, a dear friend succumbed to her own battle. This woman was a fighter. Last year she was diagnosed with a rare cancer that affected her entire body. She was given three months to live. She chose not to pursue treatment. She also chose to live life with a positive attitude and a strong faith in God. “Jean” defied the odds and not only exeded three months, she lived more than a year. She was so full of life. She will forever be an inspiration to me and to the many others whose lives she touched.
As I thought of “Jean” I decided to donate $100 in honor of the strongest and most inspirational woman I’ve ever known. I have many friends who are battling cancer. My hope is my donation will go a long way in finding a cure for this horrible disease.
I left that night and as I drove home I began to cry uncontrollably. I cried all the way home. Cancer sucks!!! It’s hard for those who haven’t been affected by the disease to understand the emotions unless you’ve been through it. Tonight, as I write this I’d like to encourage those of you reading to click on the Relay for Life website in your area and make a small donation. If money is an issue then sign up to volunteer in some capacity, whether it’s sending a card to someone you know fighting cancer just to let them know you care or even knitting hats. Together we can make a difference!!!!
For those of you who find yourself facing your own battle tonight, I’d like to encourage you to keep going. Don’t give up and whatever you do, don’t lose hope. There are many who have walked in your shoes. They made it….I made it and I believe you can make it too!!!