Every year for the last 7 or so, I’ve participated in the Relay for Life. I loved the idea of doing something to help others, enjoyed the events because it gave me a chance to pull together a team of friends, join for a common cause and generally have a great time at the overnight events. And so, this became part of my yearly to do list which I very much looked forward to.
My dad was diagnosed with stage II Laryngeal cancer in September of 2007. And the relay had a different meaning for me. But, the odds were good and after 29 days of radiation, it was as if it’d never happened. He’s been cancer-free ever since and has had more birthdays since.
After that, I met the frog princess’s dad. He is a survivor of a pheochromocytoma. He’d been in a coma for 6 days before the doctors found out what was wrong and he remained in a coma for 6 weeks. And the relay had a different meaning for me. Malignant pheo’s are rare and the survival rate at 5 years is 48%. But he has been cancer-free since 2004 and has had more birthdays since.
Then, on April 6th, 2010, mami was diagnosed. I remember that the relay certainly had a different meaning for me that May. Because it seemed that we were fighting a different animal this time. We had a 10-month battle with cholangiocarcinoma. We all fought. We all prayed. We thought we had a chance even though this type of cancer has a very low rate of survival. In the end, Randall (it’s what we called the tumor) got the best of her. We don’t say that he won because she is pain-free and in heaven now so the joke’s on him!
Mami died 4 days before she turned 65. And oh, I wish she’d had more birthdays! I will once again sign up for our relay for life this coming spring. Because I want to make sure that YOU and I have more birthdays. Do you participate in a local Relay?
This post is sponsored by American Cancer Society.