As Published at Fig Lancaster
This past weekend, my family attended the Lancaster Relay for Life. I have attended this event in the past, I have walked the track in years gone by, but this year was different. This year, I wore the purple tee shirt with “survivor” printed across the back. This year, the children around the track were cheering for me as I walked in the survivor lap. This year, I could barely make eye contact with people without tearing up, this year I wore my oversized sunglasses, well after sun down.
This event has brought me to tears in the past, but this year was different. This year, I am hyper aware of the devastation that is cancer. This year, my daughter decorated luminaries with my name and my sister's name printed across the bag.
This year I am a survivor but since my diagnosis and win against cancer, far, far too many people in my life have been handed their own devastating diagnosis. Today, as I scrolled through my social media feed, toothbrush in hand, eyes slowly blinking away the sleep, I saw a message from yet another dear friend announcing her recent diagnosis of breast cancer. I was devastated, for every time there is a win there seems to be yet another friend thrown into the gauntlet.
Still, this weekend as I walked the track, arm in arm with my sister, I was encouraged. As I walked arm in arm with the girl who had been diagnosed within weeks of my own diagnosis and who had rang her bell within weeks of my own victorious scan, I could not help but smile through my tears.
I was encouraged by the sea of survivors that surrounded me.
I was encouraged by the sea of caregivers and family members that surrounded those survivors. I was encouraged by the mass of individuals who have had cancer invade their lives whether it was with their own diagnosis or that of a loved one and who banded together to punch cancer square in the nose
There are still far too many people in my life fighting back against cancer but I am hopeful that one day I will not know anyone fighting cancer. I am hopeful that my daughter will grow up in a world where cancer is a rare blip rather than everyday occurrence.