Why would I risk annoying people and have those same people start avoiding me? “Oh there she comes….HIDE!” Why, do I continue to write about, to speak about, to basically almost live and breathe Relay for Life? The reasons are many, and yet few at the same time.
Cancer doesn’t care who it attacks. I know, cancer is a disease, it doesn’t have the ability to think and be selective in its victims. It is a disease that attacks young and old alike. It attacks male and female alike. White, black, purple, pink, blue.. it doesn’t matter your skin color or nationality. It takes single people as well as those who have families who need them. It takes relatives, coworkers, friends, the person who delivers the paper, who directs traffic, the teachers, the relatives, the children. We have to finish the fight and stop this. Too many, much too many people are dealing with this battle.
The cancer warrior isn’t the only one affected. The multitude of people who are caregivers and who see the struggles first hand. The doctors and other medical staff. The students in school who lose a talented and amazing instructor who knew, how to reach their students. The friends who hold each other in their heart, they see and they feel the pain and suffering almost as much as the cancer warrior does.
When a warrior fights as hard as they can, for as long as they are able, but lose their battle, there is a great loss in many ways. Yes- someone has lost a family member. Yes- someone has lost a friend. Yes, someone has lost a coworker. But what possibilities lived within that person? What is it that they may have accomplished had they lived? Could they have found a way to stop wars? Great medical discoveries, that could put an end to disease? Discover how to stop world hunger? Prevent natural disasters? What are the possibilities that could have been, but now never will? What student will be left behind because of the loss?
I do what I do- because of the warriors who are struggling. They are giving it all they have, but need someone to offer more. Find a way to give more. One’s appearance goes a long way in how they feel. If they look good, they are stronger. If they feel ugly because of hair loss or paleness due to their illness, their self-esteem suffers and they are weaker. Some simply preferring to hide away. Programs such as the “Look Good Feel Better” helps the warrior to feel better because they look better. They are given a wig, a scarf or hat. They are taught how to apply makeup that will bring out the best looks. Wigs to cover a chemotherapy created baldness of which there is no shame, but even as people complain about how difficult it is to get their hair to look just right..when its gone.. A program such as this needs funding.
For the person who has just been diagnosed or who has a family member or friend who has been diagnosed, there is an 800 number (1-800-227-2345) and there is a web site: http://www.cancer.org where someone is waiting to assist in getting answers and information. Literature of all sorts are available. I personally have used both to get information. I have found the people to be friendly and very helpful. I have always gotten the information that I needed when I needed it without dealing with any hassles or attitude. Programs such as this need funding.
There are times when a warrior has to travel to a distant city to get the treatments they need. They need somewhere to stay where their family can stay as well. HOPE House fills that need. Programs such as this need funding.
All across the country and the world there are doctors and researchers who are seeking ways to fight and better yet to prevent cancer. Study after study is being done. Medicines and treatments are being discovered. Determinations are being made as to which fruits and vegetables; what vitamins and minerals that we put into our system, what foods we eat, will help to aid int h prevention of cancer. What methods we can take to remain healthy, or to be stronger during the battle. Programs such as this..need funding.
Why do I continue to do what I do, even as I risk losing friends? Because I am a survivor. I made it through diagnoses, surgery and treatments. I fought my battle and won. I can still wrap my arms around my family, can tease my brothers, can annoy people with bad jokes and off key singing. I can sit on the bank of the pond and watch the ripples while listening to the birds singing. I can feel the sun on my face and the breeze in my hair. I can plant flowers and plant flowers and plant vegetables and enjoy the colors and butterfly and bees as they enjoy the flowers. I can enjoy the heat, play in the snow, sit by a roaring fire with a cup of coffee and a good book. I can and I want others to be able to as well.
Why do I continue to do what I do even as I risk losing friends? Because I would rather lose a friend due my persistence in this annoying them rather than lose them to cancer. I would rather they walk away annoyed and healthy rather than sickly and weak. I would rather be able to see them from the distance knowing they are well, hoping that the time will come they understand- not by going through it themselves- but simply by realization and return as friends. Rather than have to visit a grave. I would rather know that I tried with the best of my ability then live with the guilt of one who shrugged and walked away.
is part of the reasons why I do what I do, and will continue to do so until cancer is no more.