Cancer Stinks, So I Walk


Luminary bags light up the track honoring and remembering cancer survivors and victims.

Who among us has not in some way been affected by cancer? We all seem to know someone who has or is fighting for their life. This weekend I participated in the Relay for Life. If you have never participated, I highly recommend it.

Cancer is a crazy disease that affects young, old, strong, weak…in its various forms. In the relay your team takes turns walking around a track all night with all kinds of people from your local community…young, old, strong, weak…all in our various forms. But we unite to raise awareness and money for cancer research. It is fun, meaningful, and moving. I am hopeful, so I walk.

In 2010, my husband was diagnosed with a Level 4 melanoma. He had surgery to remove a large portion of skin from his shoulder and his neck. Sadly, the oncologist had  the worst bedside manner of any doctor I’ve ever encountered. On our first visit, before surgery, he showed us a chart indicating that my husband had a 40% chance of survival and that his odds didn’t really go down completely until 10 years have passed without additional incident.  So far, so good. I’m grateful, so I walk.

The best part of the Relay for Life, for me, is the lighting of the luminary bags that surround and light up the track all night. Each bag is decorated to honor or remember someone who has fought or is fighting cancer. The lights inspire me to keep thinking of others and to never forget how fragile life is. And so, I walk.

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