February Twenty-eighth; Not Alone

I decided to do it again anyway, just a little differently.

I recently signed up for our local Relay for Life event, only this time as a team member instead of captain. Try as I might, with such limited resources, being a leader hasn’t been in the cards. I do follow fairly well though so team member it is. http://main.acsevents.org/goto/rebeccasrevels

But, why do I do this anyway?

Many years back, I would hear mention of Relay for Life and think it a good cause, but that was the extent of my interest. That changed the day the surgeon told me gently, “You have cancer”. It could have been and looking back was a bit entertaining. When she entered the room with an assistant to back her up, I knew. When she informed me of the diagnoses, I sat there calmly and told her, “You know what it is, you know where it is, take care of it.” The assistant backed out of the room and we proceeded to discuss what would happen going forward.

After a lumpectomy, after radiation, I stand here a breast cancer survivor. While my battle was not as bad as many, it was still not easy. Dealing with radiation treatments that stole almost every bit of my energy. I had reached a point where it was almost all I could do to put one foot before the other. Yet I managed, and now I share that battle.

That year I joined my first Relay for Life team. With it, I was more the observer but I do recall that first event. It was on the local high school’s football field. There were so many people who came out. But long about two in the morning, walking that track under the glow of the field lights, but hearing the sounds of nature from beyond that light, was a bit surreal. It was so quiet, so still, even as there were others there, I was walking alone. Pretty much the same as I have faced many obstacles, physically I was alone.

That was fifteen years ago.

I have participated in many events. Some as a team member, some as a captain. There has been a year or two that I missed, but I would come back and try again. As I am doing this year, as a team member. But…why?

I have lost aunts and uncles to cancer. I lost my brother to cancer. I have watched friends lose people close to them, and I have lost friends to cancer. Cancer is as nondiscriminatory as it comes. It will take any one and everyone that it can from those who love them.

Relay for Life is the major fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. It is people coming together to raise money and awareness. It is fighting the fight to work toward the goal of losing no one else to cancer. Raising money to go toward research. I know that the discovery of one of the medications that I was on for several years to prevent the cancer returning, came from money raised through Relay for Life.

The American Cancer Society provides education. It provides rides for those in need to doctors appointments or medications. It provides a twenty four hour hotline found on its web site https://www.cancer.org/ but to make it easier 800-227-2345 should you need answers or are curious. The web site though is a wealth of information.

Someone once made a comment many years ago, they didn’t know why I survived and their loved one did not. I couldn’t answer that because my answers in that would be guesses. I think though, maybe, it was so that I could share my battle and what I learned.

Even though I went to most doctor appointments alone. Even as I went to every single radiation treatment alone. Spiritually, I was not alone. While at the time, I would have loved to have someone there to help strengthen me in my moments of weakness, this battle gave me strength.

I missed two full days of work during the fight. The day of my surgery and the day after. While I was undergoing the radiation treatments, I would go into work fifteen minutes early so I could leave fifteen minutes early for my treatments. That way I lost no time. My husband was out of work during this time. He spent the day going to truck stops seeking those cards left by companies hiring. Each afternoon after I got home, I would go online and fill out applications for him. He would field any and all phone calls. I would prepare supper and then head out for a walk. Those walks were always along the same paths. Those walks, were where it was shown to me I wasn’t alone. Every single day, something new would be waiting for me. New flowers blooming, new plants appearing, wild life waiting for me. Birds that hung around, a deer that seemed to be waiting to greet me, a comforting peace that filled my heart and healed my hurting soul. Physically no one walked with me, no one stood with me, no one brought any food to me so I wouldn’t have to cook but yet, I was not spiritually alone. My Lord was with me the entire way. Giving me the strength to fight the fight. Giving me the words to share to help guide others along the journey.

As I am currently taking care of and being here for my parents, I was going to skip this year, then decided to become involved anyway. I think, I believe, that someone needs to know, that even as they seem alone, they are not. Even as they miss one or many they have lost, there are those who understand. Even as they face the battle, there are those out here for them. Ready and willing to strengthen and walk with them. There is a God who loves them and wants them to know, even at their lowest, they are not alone.

When one battles cancer, it is personal. They must face struggles they have not faced before. For those who have someone they love, facing cancer, it is a painful journey where they feel helpless and alone. Not knowing where to turn, what to ask. The American Cancer Society has  answers, it has resources, it has the physical help needed. That back up assistant to God’s presence.

I wonder if I still have that hat somewhere, all these years later.

About rebecca s revels

A writer, a photographer, a cancer survivor. An adventurer of the mild kind, a lover of the simple pleasures such as long walks and chocolate. A Christian unashamed of my faith and a friend who is dependable and will encourage readily. Author of three self published books with more waiting to find their way to paper. An advocate of good things, a fighter against wrongs.
This entry was posted in education, encouragement, faith, family, healthy, in honor, inspiration, life's journey, memories, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to February Twenty-eighth; Not Alone

  1. Wise Hearted says:

    Everybody I know who has had cancer want to give back in some way. I am sure you are an encouragement to those in the race and them to you. It’s good to hear of others ways of being a survivor. Bless you Rebecca’s

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