Why do I do it?
Why can I not just say, “yes, I’m a survivor” and let it go at that? Why must I continue to speak out? Why do I continue to participate in Relay for Life? Why do I fund-raise, asking, begging, pleading with people to donate?
Yes, I had cancer. Yes, it was caught very early- so early it was so small that even the surgeon was surprised that it was seen. So I had cancer- I had surgery- I had radiation treatments- it is over right? Why do I not just put it behind me and move on…dropping the subject and continuing with my life as if it never happened. Or in the least as if it were a chapter in my life that has been read and is in the past and over, irrelevant to the here and now.
Why? Because there are still too many people who must sit and listen as their doctor tells them they have cancer. It may be treatable, it may not.
There are too many who have heard that diagnoses and have no clue as to what they are dealing with. They are adrift in a storm sea searching for a safe harbor to weather the storm. A controlled arena where they have a fair fighting chance.
They need to know what treatments are available, what best suits their diagnoses, what will happen as far as surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and medicines afterwards.
When they must travel for treatments, where will they stay and who can go along with them?
When they are feeling their worst, when their hair has fallen out and they are embarrassed and self-conscious of their looks then what?
When someone needs a ride to get their medication or to a doctor–
When they need information on diet, exorcise, stress relief…
Why? Why do I continue to risk losing friends because of my persistent discussions of Relay for Life and the requests for donations?
Because too many (one is too many) people are still leaving us because of cancer. When one child is lost, when one mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, friend is lost… that is too many.
Relay for Life is about fighting cancer. It is about raising money to end this once and for all. It is about educating, sharing, its about making the general population aware. Relay for Life is about all of the above and more. I learned about Relay before I was diagnosed but even as I intended to join did not- then it became personal. Relay is not simply something that I do for so many moths out of the year. It isn’t an activity that keeps me out of trouble as I do something good.
Relay is about people. It is about celebrating more birthdays with those who we love. It is about seeing our loved ones, our friends, our co-workers healthy. It is about people coming together to form teams that form an event that raise awareness, that raise the determination that we will see an end to this terrible disease that takes way too may people from us too soon.
That is why I Relay. That is why I will continue to Relay. That is why I invite others to join us and that is why I ask, beg, plead for donations……….and will continue to ask, until we put an end to the fight and cancer is a threat no more.