Cancer. It’s not the most fun word I know of. It takes from us. It can take our loved ones, even though that’s never what we would’ve chosen. It takes our time and our energy, and there’s nothing about what cancer does and is that seems right. But on the flip side, it also makes me think of the words hope, prayer, fight, courage, strength, and love. It reminds me to be thankful for each day God gives me, and to love my family and those around me. It’s almost as though cancer tries to take, and in turn shows us all how to give.
I have an aunt that recently had a double mastectomy due to breast cancer, and she has shown us many of these things as she continues on her journey. It’s not one that she would’ve chosen, but that doesn’t change that she’s on it. My Aunt Susie has taught us how to stay positive, to see the good, to LOVE, to enjoy this life because we don’t know what’s around the corner, and to be courageous. I’m not thankful for the pain she is enduring, the side effects of her chemo and the pain and hardship that goes along with healing and transitioning after a double mastectomy, the difficulties and realities of losing her hair, but I can say that I’m thankful that God is showing her that she is worth it. She is amazing, she is beautiful with hair or without, and these are lessons that her son, daughter, grandchildren, her siblings, nieces and nephews, and her parents get to learn by watching her go through this tough time. Through all the difficulties, I see a huge reason to celebrate! Which brings me to why I’m blogging today: The Relay For Life.
Here’s what the site says that it is: “Relay For Life is a life-changing event that helps communities across the globe celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease.” I love this.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting a wonderful woman named Mary, and she is the Survivor Chair for the 2012 Anthem Relay for Life. She is a cancer survivor, and she is now giving back to the community by heading up the 2012 Relay For Life in Anthem, Arizona. She has also been on the receiving end of a Food Tidings schedule by her friends and family. “I first was introduced to Food Tidings by my daughter when I was diagnosed with cancer for a second time and decided to have a double mastectomy. She signed us up and for two weeks we did not have to make one meal. Every night at 6 p.m. our door bell rang and someone with dinner, breakfast, goodies, cards, flowers and hugs stood at our door waiting to come in. It was wonderful not to have to worry about feeding my family. My son came for a week to stay with me, my mother in law and then my daughter and they never had to worry about meals.. that will be two years ago this July and I have recommended Food Tidings to EVERYONE since then.. for every reason..”
Part of Mary’s responsibilities as the Survior Chair of the Relay is to get the word out and invite any and all to come celebrate life with them on April 28th, 2012. And that’s just what we want to encourage all of you to do! If you live anywhere near Anthem, Arizona, get signed up to celebrate life with Mary and everyone else at the 2012 Anthem Relay For Life. It’s going to be awesome, and amazing memories will be made. They also could use sponsors, so that’s another way to be involved.
If you don’t live near the Anthem Relay, which I know many of you don’t, there are Relays all over the globe! Click here to find one local to you. Here is a description from the Relay For Life website of what a community Relay looks like, “At Relay, teams of people camp out at a local high school, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track. Each team has a representative on the track at all times during the event. Because cancer never sleeps, Relays are overnight up to 24 hours in length. Most of the fundraising is performed by teams during the months leading up to the Relay For Life event.”
So in the midst of what is a very difficult and sometimes dark times for those on a journey with cancer, let’s find a reason to celebrate life! Put on your walking shoes, and come join a Relay For Life event in your area!
Here’s a really great video about Relay, and the story of how it all got started. Also, go here to read a beautifully written blog post by Mary about putting one foot in front of the other, and her continued journey as a cancer survivor.