Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Taking time out to do some good

Sorry I've been away too long. I recently was "downsized" from my day job and cranked up my "fun job" to full time. As a Mary Kay beauty consultant I have made the decision to make it my full time job by becoming a sales director. (That takes a bit of focus, hence the lack of blogging.) OK shameless plug aside, let's get back on topic...

I'm doing the American Cancer Society: Relay for Life with my cousin this week. So glad the rain will finally stop (up here in New England) so we can truly enjoy the night sky.  As a Thyroid cancer survivor myself, I thought it was time to do something for the cause. (I've walked for everyone else's fundraisers: JDRF, ADA, MS, etc, but I feel like this is my own.) It's been almost exactly 14 years since I had my surgery. I hadn't even heard about thyroid cancer. So naturally I panicked when I was diagnosed. Fortunately, we caught it early enough that all I have to show for it is a small (yet cool "pirate scar" as I tell my nephews.)

I was only 22 at the time. Then 2 years ago, my father (67 years old), was diagnosed with the same cancer. It was my turn to help him go through the process and hold his hand. Kind of odd to me that the child was leading the parent. I gave him books to read and talked to him about what would happen. Thankfully, technology had improved in 10 years, so his procedure was less invasive with a faster recovery time. It's an odd bond we share, so when I walk this week at the relay, I'm both survivor and caretaker.

I can't take all the credit though, as my mother helped both of us through our respective dilemmas. She is the ultimate nurturer. Mom went out of her way to prep our food according to the doctor's restrictions/specifications. She made sure we took our "pills" and took care of our scars. Mom's great like that! Every cancer patient needs someone like my mom caring for them.

So as I walk around the track, looking at the faces, the luminaries, and reliving the memories, I'll be smiling, not crying as I know I'm stronger for having lived through this. Not everyone is so fortunate. Some people experience much more malicious forms of cancer. Ones that attack the body viciously, without relent. I understand many people who will be there have lost one or more friends/family to cancer and I respect and honor their memory.

My take home message is this. If there's an ACS: Relay in your neighborhood, please sponsor a walker, or even better, join the cause and walk with them.

Thank you