I Wish She’d Had More Birthdays


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.


Sili is the owner and Chief Executive Mami of Organizada Planner  and My Mamihood. She was selected as one of Latina Magazine's top Blogger to Know in 2014 and Latina Magazine's top 10 Mommy bloggers in 2013. Mother to a 5-year old little girl and campaign fellows for MomsRising.org round out her current passions. Sili is deeply committed to changing the world and coaching you right along toward your purpose. She is viciously awesome. Sili raises armies and builds empires. She also bakes cookies and thangs.

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  1. Relay for Life is a wonderful cause; so proud of you for taking part in this!
    Martha Orlando recently posted..To Brine or Not to Brine . . .My Profile

  2. Your Mom will be so proud of you, Sili!

  3. A wonderful cause and no doubt your mother will be looking down and watching you with much love.
    Savy recently posted..Monkeying aroundMy Profile

    • Thanks, Savy! It’s tough but I will be heading out there next year. This year it was too difficult and too fresh. It also took place mother’s day weekend. It was all a bit too much for me even though I did raise a good amount of money for it.


  4. Janaki Nagaraj Says: December 8, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Wonderful cause…..hugs.

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